Can you make the diagnosis?

Jason’s teacher notices he seems a bit under-the-weather and sends him to the nurse’s office.

The school nurse examines Jason, who is 12 years-old.  Jason tells her he has a headache and that his muscles hurt.  She checks his temperature and it is 99.5 Fahrenheit.  She calls Jason’s mom to come pick him up.

That evening, Jason’s mom notices that his face and neck seem swollen.  She calls their pediatrician and makes him an appointment for the next day.

What does Jason have?

  1.  Strep throat
  2. Meningitis
  3. Measles
  4. Mumps


If you guessed mumps, you are right!

Mumps is caused by a virus.  It can cause fever, muscle pain, headache, and swelling of the salivary glands.

Complications from mumps can include meningitis, inflammation of the heart, permanent deafness, and testicle inflammation which can cause infertility.

Mumps is preventable by two doses of the mumps vaccination.

Currently in the United States there are mumps outbreaks in 19 states.


Strep throat usually the patient has the major complaint of sore throat.  Meningitis can have symptoms including fever, neck stiffness, and confusion, but does not usually face and neck swelling.  Measles are usually accompanied by a rash.




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