Cheerleaders possibly exposed to mumps in Dallas

Thousands of athletes, coaches and parents were possibly exposed to mumps at a national cheerleading competition that was held last month in Dallas.

Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said a person with a confirmed case of mumps attended the National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas from Feb. 23-25.

Van Deusen said the state’s health department sent precautionary letters to people from 39 different states who attended the cheerleading competition. No one from Texas has reported a related case.

“We wanted to inform people so they could be on the lookout for symptoms,” he said.

Those symptoms include swollen salivary glands, a low-grade fever, tiredness and muscle aches. Some people also may not have symptoms.

But even people with a mild case of the disease can spread it through saliva or mucus with coughs, sneezes, sharing food and more.

“If you, your child, or any other individuals linked to this event experience or have experienced mumps symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider and inform them of your exposure to mumps,” the health department’s letter said.

A vaccine for mumps is available and encouraged especially for children over the age of 1.