TYLER, Texas (KETK) - Multiple East Texas competitive cheerleading squads were among more than 1,300 teams possibly exposed to mumps at a recent competition in Dallas.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, cheerleaders who took part in the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) All-Star National Championship on Friday, February 23, through Sunday, February 25, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, may have been exposed to mumps.
The NCA says 23,655 cheerleaders and 2,600 coaches making up 1,320 teams attended the three-day competition. The teams descended upon Dallas from 39 states across the nation, as well as nine countries worldwide.
East Texas squads who attended the competition, according to the NCA's competition schedule, include:
Hallsville Academy All-Stars
Academy of Gymnastics and Dance
Extreme Cheer Lady Lux
Flip n Cheer Legacy Intensity
D-N-D Flyers Archangels
T's Tumbling Platinum Starz
Extreme Tumble & Cheer Tsunami
East Texas Twisters Gymnastics
However, this isn't the first time an NCA competition in Texas has resulted in exposure to mumps.
According to KXAS, in December 2016, the Texas DSHS reported cheerleaders who attended four separate competitions from November 6, 2016, to December 10, 2016, were exposed to mumps.
KXAS says at least 11 cases of mumps were traced back to those competitions.
WHAT IS MUMPS?
Mumps is a viral illness caused by a paramyxovirus, a member of the Rubulavirus family.
"The incubation period for this virus is anywhere from 12 to 25 days," says Dr. Monique Mills, pediatrician at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.
In the absence of immunization, mumps usually occurs in childhood. Although mumps is usually a mild disease, serious complications can occur.
Symptoms indicating you may have contracted the mumps include:
Swollen or tender salivary glands
Swollen or tender testicles
If you or your child attended the NCA competition in Dallas, state health officials say to be on the lookout for symptoms until Thursday, March 22.
However, the Texas DSHS says many people do not have any symptoms.
HOW IS MUMPS CONTRACTED?
"You can get the mumps if you get sneezed or coughed on by someone who has the virus," says Dr. Mills.
Sharing cups and utensils may also spread the virus.
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.
MUMPS (MMR) VACCINE
Children usually receive the first mumps, measles and rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12 to 15-months-old and the second dose at 4 to 6-years-old.
The MMR vaccine is not recommended for children less than 1-year-old.
Adults who have not had two doses of the MMR vaccine can receive the second dose of the vaccine. However, pregnant women or people who are immunocompromised should not get 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.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET MUMPS
Anyone diagnosed with or suspected of having mumps should stay home five days after swollen glands appear.
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.
If you or your healthcare provider have any questions, please call your local health department or contact the Texas DSHS at (512) 776-7676.
For an in-depth summary of mumps, Dr. Mills sat down for a Health Connection segment discussing the disease, as well as measles.