Seven cases of mumps confirmed on UT campus

UT students on campus with the tower in background (KXAN Photo)
UT students on campus with the tower in background (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Seven cases of mumps have been diagnosed on the University of Texas at Austin campus in the past week, the university said Friday.

Other members of the campus community are being tested for suspected mumps infection, a contagious disease spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

UT says items used by an infected person, including a phone, can also be contaminated with the mumps virus. Symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite and swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears on one of both sides.

A student with symptoms should call University Health Services at 512-471-4955 or the 24-hour nurse advice line at 512-475-6877 before going to UHS.

The university cites the Centers for Disease Control as recommending the best way to prevent mumps being the mumps vaccine. Two doses of the vaccine, part of the measles-mumps-rubella (MRR) and measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccines — are 88 percent effective at preventing the disease, according to the CDC.

UT says symptoms typically appear over 16-18 days after infection, but it can range from 12-25 days.

Visit the Healthy Horns website for more information on what to do if you think you have mumps and for more student health resources.

A student was diagnosed with mumps on campus in January 2016. Students in the same class and living in the same residence hall were alerted they were at risk.

In May 2015, eight students at UT were infected with mumps. At the time, university officials said it was the first case of mumps on campus since the vaccine had been in place, dating back to 1967.

Earlier this year, KXAN reported that the number of mumps cases in Texas has reached a 20-year high, worrying health officials.

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