The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley sent the following email:
Student Health Services has confirmed one case of mumps on its Edinburg campus. A second case has not been confirmed, but health officials said it is likely another case of mumps.
The first student came to the university’s Student Health Services clinic in Edinburg March 28 with symptoms. Lab tests confirmed mumps. A second student came to the Student Health Services clinic April 1 with symptoms. Lab results are pending on the second patient.
UTRGV has reported the case to Hidalgo County Health and Human Services and has been working closely with the county’s health officials.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus. The virus can be spread by:
• Coughing, sneezing, or talking
• Sharing items that may have saliva on them, such as water bottles or cups
• Participating in close-contact activities with others, such as playing sports, dancing, or kissing
• Touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others
Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, and swelling of the salivary glands. This is what causes the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. Most people recover within two weeks.
We encourage those who are experiencing these symptoms to visit their primary care provider. Students can also come to Student Health Services clinics, located at 613 North Sugar Road in Edinburg and Cortez Hall, Suite 237, in Brownsville. Employees can visit the UT Health Rio Grande Valley Employee health locations at the first floor of the Research Education Building (EREBL) on the Edinburg campus and at 2106 Treasure Hills Blvd. in Harlingen.
At this time, we also would like to remind everyone about the importance of receiving vaccinations. People can prevent contracting the mumps by receiving the MMR vaccine, which also protects people from contracting measles and rubella. Vaccines are safe and effective in staving off infectious diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people receive two doses: the first between 12 months and 15 months old and the second between 4 years old and 6 years old. According to the CDC, those who have received both doses of the MMR vaccine have about an 88 percent reduction in risk from contracting mumps and those who have received one dose have about a 78 percent reduction in risk from getting the disease.