The statement by Dr Davis raises an important question. How can the physician, faced with a patient with acute parotid gland swelling, make an accurate clinical diagnosis? In the March 1979 issue of AJDC1 I discussed the article by Biedel2 entitled "Recurrent Mumps Following Natural Infection and Immunization." I indicated that a confirmed diagnosis of mumps cannot be made without serologic studies for mumps virus as well as other viruses known to cause parotitis.
Early in the recent outbreak of mumps cases in Chicago (1986-1987) an attempt was made to collect blood samples from the acute and convalescent phases in my patients who had acute parotid gland swellings. However, the effort was abandoned because of lack of cooperation by the patients and the inability to obtain an accessible, competent laboratory.
In their recent report "Perspectives on the Relative Resurgence of Mumps in The United States"3 Cochi et