DEAR DOCTOR K: A few students at my son's college have been diagnosed with mumps. My son has had all of his vaccines, including the MMR. Could he still get mumps?
DEAR READER: Mumps is an infection that causes swelling of the parotid glands in front of each ear. It is caused by a virus that spreads from person to person through coughs, sneezes and saliva. It can also spread through contact with contaminated items and surfaces. Once the mumps virus enters the body, it passes into the bloodstream and can spread to many different glands, as well as the brain.