Thousands may have been exposed to mumps at cheerleading event in Texas

Violet Powell
March 9, 2018

Texas health officials say about 25,000 people from 39 states and nine countries may have been exposed after someone with the mumps attended the competition in Dallas.

If your child attended a national cheerleading competition in Dallas last month, you need to pay attention to their health.

The department sent a letter to those who participated in the competition, which was February 23-25 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, to let them know that they or their children may have been exposed to the virus. Symptoms include a swollen face, fever, aches, and loss of appetite.

But even people with a mild case of the disease can spread it through saliva or mucus with coughs, sneezes, sharing food and more. The incubation time for symptoms to arise can take up to 25 days, but usually shows signs in 14 to 18 days.

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A total of 130 mumps infections were reported in 25 states between January 1-27, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most people are vaccinated against mumps as children, but the health department says people can still be infected. "Since the vaccine has been developed, there have been as few as 200 cases per year, but the mumps virus has never been eliminated from the United States".

People with mumps are contagious three days before to five days after swollen glands appear. MMR vaccine is not recommended for children less than 1 year of age.

Cheerleaders who have already received two doses of the mumps vaccine are encouraged to get an additional booster dose of the MMR vaccine.

Vaccination is the best protection against the mumps, the health department says, but vaccinated individuals can still become infected.

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