Measles, mumps, and rubella are serious diseases. Before vaccines they were very common, especially among children.
• Measles virus causes rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation, and fever.
• It can lead to ear infection, pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staring), brain damage, and death.
• Mumps virus causes fever, headache, muscle pain, loss of appetite, and swollen glands.
• It can lead to deafness, meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord covering), painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries, and rarely sterility.
• Rubella virus causes rash, arthritis (mostly in women), and mild fever.
• If a woman gets rubella while she is pregnant, she could have a miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects.
These diseases spread from person to person through the air. You can easily catch them by being around someone who is already infected.
Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine can protect children (and adults) from all three of these diseases. Thanks to successful vaccination programs these diseases are much less common in the world than they used to be. But if we stopped vaccinating they would return.
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