University Health Services emailed multiple students Tuesday evening warning of a possible mumps exposure from a student in their classes.
The UHS email said, “I am writing you to let you know that you may have been exposed to mumps because a UT student in one of your classes has been diagnosed with mumps or has symptoms of mumps."
Mumps is a contagious disease caused by the mumps virus that spreads through the air when a person coughs or sneezes, according to the UHS website.
Catherine Rodríguez, a communications in human relations senior, received the email from UHS.
“I was frankly confused mostly because I am in online courses that don’t meet in person at all,” Rodríguez said. “I’m really not out here trying to get the mumps on my last summer vacation before graduation.”
UHS is asking students to seek medical care immediately if they experience any symptoms and to call ahead to warn UHS so they can take proper precautions to limit exposure to other patients. Some of the symptoms for mumps listed on the UHS website include swollen and tender salivary glands, fever, headache and muscle aches.
“I am less concerned for my own well-being than for the wellbeing of people with weakened immune systems or who can’t access vaccines for some other reason,” said Hana Masri, a communication studies doctoral student.
The website says people usually recover after a week or two, but occasionally mumps can cause serious complications.
In 2015, Austin had a mumps outbreak that involved at least eight UT students, according to KVUE. UT has not said how many students could have been affected by this incident.
Rodríguez and Masri said they have been vaccinated and have not experienced any symptoms.