Friday, 21 September, 2018

Thousands of cheerleaders may have been exposed to mumps, say state officials

More than 23,000 cheerleaders and 2,600 coaches attended the three-day competition last month Thousands of cheerleaders may have been exposed to mumps, say state officials
Melissa Porter | 08 March, 2018, 04:53

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

A person at the National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship had mumps, officials learned.

Officials from the Texas Department of State Health Services posted a letter on Twitter that was sent Friday to parents and participants at the National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship from February 23-26, warning them of possible exposure to the contagious viral illness. Symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, swollen or tender testicles, low-grade fever, tiredness, and muscle aches. It can spread through coughing, sneezing, sharing cups, touching infected surfaces, or even talking.

"We wanted to inform people so they could be on the lookout for symptoms", he said. Some people also may not have symptoms.

A spokesman from the state health department told the Dallas Morning News that the person traveled from another state.

Doctors usually give the first MMR dosage to children aged 12 to 15 months and the second dose is injected at four to six years.

Most people who are vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine are protected against the virus - one dose is 78 percent effective and two doses is 88 percent effective.

"There hasn't been any evidence to suggest that the MMR vaccine does not protect against circulating mumps strains", CDR press officer Ian Branam said.

"Before the USA mumps vaccination program started in 1967, mumps was a universal disease of childhood", the CDC points out on its website.

So far this year, there have been 130 reported cases from January 1 to January 27 across 25 states and in 2017, more than 5,600 people got mumps, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.