Mumps virus particle, coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM). A mumps virus particle contains ribonucleic acid (RNA) enclosed in a spherical protein shell, or capsid (outer brown layer). The shell is covered in surface proteins (purple), which are used to attach to and penetrate a host cell. Once inside a cell, the virus particles (virions) use the cell machinery to make more copies of themselves. Mumps virus is a contagious paramyxovirus, causing swelling of the parotid salivary glands, fever, headache and vomiting. Infection can spread to the pancreas, brain and testicles. In adult males, infection can cause sterility. Magnification: x196,000 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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