Texas health officials have issued warnings to athletes from 39 other states and nine countries that they may have been exposed to mumps at a cheerleading event held last month in Dallas.
The Department of State Health Services sent a letter to all those who participated in the National Cheerleaders Association All Star-National Championship held on February 23-25 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
The cheerleading competition is a huge event with 39 states and nine counties participating, and with 1,320 teams joining composed of 23,655 athletes and 2,600 coaches. Many traveled from out-of-state.
The department spokesman, Chris Van Deusen, said that their letter informed the participants that they or their children may have been exposed to the virus. While no Texas residents have developed mumps in connection with attendance to the said cheerleading event, the department is still urging people to watch for symptoms.
Mumps is spread through the saliva or mucus of an infected person. Some of the symptoms of mumps include puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw. Mumps may also be accompanied by a fever, aches, and fatigue. Some people, however, may remain without symptoms.
The incubation period for mumps can last anywhere from two weeks to a month.The cheerleaders in the Dallas event should then watch for symptoms of fever, muscle aches, and swollen glands. Anyone diagnosed with the virus is highly-advised to stay home for five days after swollen glands appear.
Studies have shown that vaccinating people during mumps outbreak may at least help control it.
While there is no treatment for mumps, the good news is most people recover completely from it in a few weeks.
Van Deusen stresses: “For the vast majority of people, the risk is very, very low. Just to be on the safe side we want people to be on the lookout for symptoms. We want folks to be aware of it and looking out for those telltale mumps symptoms.”