World News

Cheerleaders warned about mumps after national competition

Cheerleaders warned about mumps after national competition

Texas health officials have warned parents of the more than 23,000 cheerleaders who attended Dallas' National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship in February that their daughters might have been exposed to the mumps.

There have been no reports of mumps in Texas or any other states in connection with the National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship held February 23-25, according to health department spokesman Chris Van Deusen.

Van Deusen said the state's health department sent precautionary letters to people from 39 different states who attended the cheerleading competition. Mumps symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, swollen or tender testicles, low grade fever, tiredness, and muscle aches.

Mumps is spread by saliva or germs spread in the air through a cough or sneeze.

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It may take from 14 to 25 days to develop symptoms after becoming infected with the virus. It also can be spread through shared utensils.

A total of 130 mumps infections were reported in 25 states between January 1-27, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Someone with mumps is infectious three days before to five days after swollen glands appear. Most people are vaccinated against mumps as children, but the health department says people can still be infected. However, pregnant women or people who are immunocompromised should not receive the MMR vaccine. Adults who have not had two doses of MMR vaccine can receive the vaccine. If you are unsure of you or your child's vaccination status or if your child has not received both doses, consult your healthcare provider and explain the situation.

A vaccine for mumps is available and encouraged especially for children over the age of 1. The TDSHS said the best way to protect against mumps is to get the vaccine.

Health officials said children could be infected with the mumps and not even know they are sick.


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