Swollen glands below ear, fever, headache, body ache. Is it mumps?

Posted on Fri, 12 Apr 2013 in Infections
Question: Hello,

On Friday I found that the glands just below my ear, near jaw started to swell up. As the weekend progressed the swelling became worse, I had a fever, headache and body ache. I went to a walk in gp clinic and the nurse ruled out mumps before telling me she thought it may be blocked salivary glands. She said to come back if any of my symptoms get worse. On Sunday just gone, my jaw on both sides started to swell after originally only swelling on my left side first, I went to Hospital and the doctor told me from the signs and symptoms I had that it most likely mumps. I have never had the mumps virus as a child and I didn't have the MMR jab. Since then I have had my saliva taken to be sent for tests to confirm if I have mumps. Since then, the swelling on my jaw on both sides has gone down a lot however the swelling has now moved down to just underneath my chin, giving the appearance of a double chin, almost. It's not painful, just feels quite squishy and I can feel a grape sized, possibly slightly bigger, lump where the swelling is. I no longer feel feverish and the headaches/body aches have gone. I generally feel much better internally, however the swelling is the only thing still there. What is the likelyhood that it is mumps and not something else maybe more serious and how long is the swelling likely to be there?
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 2 hours later
Thanks for the query.
Your history of not having had mumps in childhood, not having received the MMR vaccine, your symptoms and the way you have improved, all suggest that you had a mumps infection. As you know, it is a viral infection of the salivary glands, especially the parotid glands that run along the angle of the jaw in front of and below each ear. Being infected once gives you lifelong immunity.
Treatment is aimed at managing the symptoms while your body fights the infection.
Most of the people recover completely however few may get complications and the most common infection is ORCHITIS (inflammation of testis), occurring in 1 in 5 patients. However, it recovers completely and there is no danger of any sterility.
Other possible complications are pancreatitis, encephalitis, meningitis etc.
As far as you swelling in chin is concerned, it shall go away completely in next 5 to 7 days time.
As far as other causes for such type of swelling is concerned, they are plenty like bacterial infection of parotid glands, Hodgkin’s, tuberculosis, lymphoma, parotid gland tumor etc but all of them present differently and doesn't fit in your case.
I hope it helps however; you may revert to me for any other query.
Best of luck

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
Follow up: Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 14 hours later
Ok, so the swelling on underneath my chin will go down? I have also read somewhere that in very rare cases, mumps can cause pancreatic cancer? Is this correct? I have been feeling a weird sensation in my stomach and this has come about since yesterday. It's not a severe or excruciating pain, I wouldn't even call it painful... it's almost like an indegistion type feeling, the sort you have when there's lots of air build up, the feeling as if you're hungry.

Is this normal?
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 1 hour later

As I explained earlier in my reply, mumps can result in pancreatitis in few cases and not pancreatic cancer. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, and symptoms include severe abdominal pain radiating to back, nausea, vomiting, fever etc. Severe pancreatitis may result in dehydration and low blood pressure and very rarely there may be failure of kidneys and heart etc.

As far as your symptoms are concerned, it looks some sort of indigestion and nothing much should be read into it.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Mohammed Kappan
Follow up: Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 3 hours later
Thanks for our response. Over the last two hours I have begun to feel a pain in my left arm, feels like I've slept on it, except I haven't. Also I've noticed tiny little red dots/spots on my forearms. The dots appear to be under the skin, they don't itch at all. I also feel quite hot and cold at the same time and a small headache has started to come on. In the last couple of hours all I've eaten is rice, sweet corn, peas and quote mince. I'm a 30 year old female, no health issues in the past. I have to say I have noticed the little red dots before, they just appear sometimes, have noticed over last few years. However they've never caused me any pain or problems. What are these signs/symptoms of? Could it be anything to do with the mumps? And is it normal for these symptoms to appear 7 days after I found the glands swollen on my neck?

Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 3 hours later

I don't think that there is any cause of concern.

These red dots have nothing to do with your mumps.

Probably you are having lot of anxiety which may be responsible for your feeling of hot and cold.

Just relax and be calm. You are all right.

There is nothing to worry.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Answered by
Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1978

Answered : 6704 Questions


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