Officials warn about possible mumps exposure at Dallas cheerleading event

National Cheer Association

National Cheer Association

The Texas Department of Health said a person with mumps attended the National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship in Dallas, and may have exposed children to the viral illness.

In all, the organization says that 23,655 cheerleaders from 39 states and nine countries competed in the event from February 23 to February 25 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

After learning that someone from another state who attended the event had mumps, the state's health department sent out warning letters last Friday about possible exposure to the disease, the Washington Post reported.

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Mumps, according to state health officials, is typically contracted through saliva and respiratory droplets created when a person with the virus coughs or sneezes. However, many people do not have any symptoms at all.

Mumps is an infectious infection that makes the salivary organs in the face end up swollen, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anyone diagnosed with mumps or suspected of having the virus is advised to stay home for five days after swollen glands appear. People without symptoms may still spread the virus.

Officials say the two doses of the vaccine is about 88 percent effective in protecting patients, but efficacy can wane over time.

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If you, your child, or any other individuals linked to this event experience or have experienced mumps symptoms, the Texas health department asks you to contact your healthcare provider and inform them of your exposure to mumps.

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

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