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Texas warns people at cheerleader competition of possible mumps exposure

Texas state health officials are warning people who attended or participated in a cheerleader competition in Dallas last month that they may have exposed to mumps.

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In a letter from Antonio Aragon with the DSHS Emerging and Acute Infectious Disease Branch, he states:

You that you or your child may have been exposed to a person with mumps at the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) All-Star National Championship on Feb. 23 to Feb. 25, 2018 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. We are sending this letter to make you aware of this exposure and to provide additional information about mumps.

People who attended the NCA All-Star National Championship should be alert for symptoms through March 22.

Mumps is a contagious viral illness. Mumps symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, swollen or tender testicles, low grade fever, tiredness, and muscle aches. Many people do not have any symptoms.

Mumps is spread through saliva and respiratory droplets created when a person sick with mumps coughs and sneezes. Sharing cups and utensils may also spread the virus. The time from being infected with the virus to developing symptoms can be as long as 25 days but is typically 14 to 18 days. People with mumps are infectious three days before to five days after swollen glands appear. Infected people without symptoms of mumps may still be able to transmit the virus.

Children usually receive the first mumps, measles, and rubella vaccine (MMR) at 12 to 15 months of age and the second dose at 4 to 6 years. MMR vaccine is not recommended for children less than 1 year of age. Adults who have not had two doses of MMR vaccine can receive the vaccine. However, pregnant women or people who are immunocompromised should not receive the MMR 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.

While vaccination against mumps is the best protection against mumps infection, vaccinated individuals may still become infected. Anyone diagnosed with or suspected of having mumps should stay home five days after swollen glands appear.