Thousands of Cheerleaders Exposed to Mumps

Local cheer squads possibly exposed to mumps at national cheer tournament

According to a letter issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services, someone with the illness attended the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) All-Star National Championship in Dallas and may have put anyone who competed or was there from February 23 to 25 at risk.

Health officials learned that someone with the illness had attended the championships, which ran from February 23 to 25, and sent a letter warning about possible exposure. Days after the event ended, the organization boasted on Twitter that 23,655 athletes attended the competition, along with 2,600 coaches from 39 states and nine countries.

Van Deusen said that the patient had gone from another state and that, since the opposition, there have been no reports in Texas of individuals building up the mumps regarding the case. Symptoms are swollen and painful salivary glands, fever, muscle aches, weakness and fatigue, loss of appetite, and pain while chewing or swallowing.

Developing symptoms can take as long as 25 days after a person is infected with mumps, but it happens typically between 14 and 18 days, the health department says.

Mumps are a viral illness that are highly contagious, but have a preventative vaccine. Health officials advise people never to share glasses, utensils, cigarettes or other items, as that could also spread the virus. Infected people without symptoms of mumps may still be able to transmit the virus. Anyone who is unsure of their children's vaccination status is encouraged by the TDSHS to contact their doctor.

There is no treatment for mumps, but most people recover completely in a few weeks. The TDSHS said the best way to protect against mumps is to get the vaccine.

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