UT health officials address mumps cases

“Mumps is here on our UT campus,” said Dr. David Vander Straten, with UHS.

University Health Services said seven people on campus have been diagnosed with mumps and they are testing others who may be showing symptoms. Some symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, and headache.

“One of the paramount symptoms is parotitis, swelling of the parotid gland, locating in the front of the ear,” said Vander Straten.

As soon as health officials found out, students, faculty and staff received an email about it. Mumps is not as big of a scare as it was decades ago, but according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Mumps cases in Texas have gone from 191 to 341

“We do still see some cases or small outbreaks that occur from time to time. Oftentimes those are in settings where folks are congregated together or setting where folks are un or under-immunized,” said Dr. Stephen Pont with Seton Healthcare.

Doctor Pont says most of us should have gotten the MMR vaccine as children. He says that should provide protection up to 90 percent in a lifetime.

“The mumps virus used to be common but the immunization is so effective we don't see it very often,” said Pont.

The virus usually goes away relatively soon without much complications. With fall classes close to starting back up, U.T. is advising everyone on campus to be mindful of this extremely contagious disease.

Some things you can do to reduce your risk of catching this if you have not been vaccinated or cannot remember if you were, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough, and do not share eating utensils.