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June 20, 1980

'Atypical' mumps may occur after immunization

JAMA. 1980;243(23):2374-2375. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300490006003

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When parotitis and aseptic meningoencephalitis appeared among children in a Little Rock, Ark, elementary school district, authorities immediately suspected mumps.

Investigation indicated that none of the sick children had been immunized against the infection. The clincher was the isolation of mumps virus from three of the youngsters.

However, at the same time, another and more puzzling illness appeared among other children in the district. Symptoms included fever, appetite loss, nausea, malaise, and a 24-hour erythematous papular rash, generalized except for the head, neck, palms, and soles.

A University of Arkansas College of Medicine pediatrician who investigated five cases of this puzzling "other" illness has concluded that it is atypical mumps. What makes this conclusion especially interesting is that, unlike their classmates with parotitis or aseptic meningoencephalitis, all five of these children were immunized against mumps long before the other symptoms developed.

Terry Yamauchi, MD, who is professor of pediatrics at