Tens of thousands may have been exposed to mumps at cheerleading - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Tens of thousands may have been exposed to mumps at cheerleading meet

Tens of thousands of people who attended a national cheerleading competiton have been told to look out for signs of the mumps after an infected person attended the championship last month. (Source: Pixabay) Tens of thousands of people who attended a national cheerleading competiton have been told to look out for signs of the mumps after an infected person attended the championship last month. (Source: Pixabay)

(RNN) - Texas health officials said tens of thousands of people from 39 states and nine countries that may have been exposed to mumps after an infected person attended the National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship in Dallas.

Texas Department of State Health Services sent letters to everyone who attended the competition, held Feb. 23 to 25, telling them to watch for signs of the illness, the health department's spokesperson told the Dallas News.

So far, no one from Texas has developed the disease, but since it usually takes about 17 days for the symptoms to develop, it may only be a matter of time.

The National Cheerleaders Association said in a tweet that the championship was attended by 23,000 athletes and 2,600 coaches.

Mumps is easily spread through coughing and sneezing, and can even spread five days before symptoms appear, the Texas Department of Health said.

Symptoms of mumps include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • tiredness
  • loss of appetite 
  • swollen glands under the ears or jaw 

Though often mild, mumps can cause serious complications, including deafness and encephalitis, and can even be fatal.

The best strategy for preventing mumps is immunization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that children either get the two-dose MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine or the MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella and varicella). 

The mumps used to be a common disease of childhood before the U.S. vaccination program began in 1967, which decreased outbreaks dramatically - by 99 percent.

Mumps outbreaks have been rare until recent years, jumping from 229 cases in 2012 to 6,366 in 2016, the CDC said.

Vaccinations help prevent outbreaks. When enough people get immunized for a disease like mumps, the disease can't travel as easily from person to person, lessening the chance of more people getting sick, the Department of Health and Human Services said. The concept is called herd immunity.

In recent years, vaccination rates have declined in some areas, as some people have opted not to vaccinate their children, worried about a link between vaccinations and autism.

The CDC said there is no link between autism and vaccinations.

But there is a link between a lower rate of immunization and vanishing herd immunity.

Experts warn if the vaccination rates drop below 90 or 95 percent, herd immunity could disappear, with substantial consequences for public health - and three-fold increase in measles cases and a $2.1 million increase in public health costs, a September 2017 report in JAMA Pediatrics said.

"What would happen if we stopped vaccinations? We could soon find ourselves battling epidemics of diseases we thought we had conquered decades ago," the CDC said.

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • Latest health & fitness newsLatest health & fitness newsMore>>

  • Parenting of the future: Many embryos, each with DNA profile

    Parenting of the future: Many embryos, each with DNA profile

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 1:23 AM EDT2018-04-18 05:23:15 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 4:43 AM EDT2018-04-20 08:43:29 GMT
    (ASRM via AP). This undated microscope image provided by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in January 2018 shows a trophectoderm biopsy, in which cells from the outer layer of an embryo that develop into the placenta and amniotic membranes...(ASRM via AP). This undated microscope image provided by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in January 2018 shows a trophectoderm biopsy, in which cells from the outer layer of an embryo that develop into the placenta and amniotic membranes...

    A prominent biomedical ethics expert predicts that in 20 to 40 years, many parents will choose babies from dozens of embryos, after examining DNA information on each.

    A prominent biomedical ethics expert predicts that in 20 to 40 years, many parents will choose babies from dozens of embryos, after examining DNA information on each.

  • Warming, not cooling, donated livers may improve transplants

    Warming, not cooling, donated livers may improve transplants

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 2:23 PM EDT2018-04-18 18:23:24 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 4:43 AM EDT2018-04-20 08:43:22 GMT
    (OrganOx via AP). This 2016 photo provided by OrganOx shows Drs. David Nasralla and Annemarie Weissenbacher with the company's metra device holding a liver in Oxford, England. On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, British researchers said that keeping at least...(OrganOx via AP). This 2016 photo provided by OrganOx shows Drs. David Nasralla and Annemarie Weissenbacher with the company's metra device holding a liver in Oxford, England. On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, British researchers said that keeping at least...
    Study suggests warming, not cooling, donated livers may improve organ transplants.
    Study suggests warming, not cooling, donated livers may improve organ transplants.
  • UN health agency: Dengue vaccine shouldn't be used widely

    UN health agency: Dengue vaccine shouldn't be used widely

    Thursday, April 19 2018 10:56 AM EDT2018-04-19 14:56:41 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 4:44 AM EDT2018-04-20 08:44:00 GMT
    The World Health Organization says that the first-ever vaccine for dengue needs to be dealt with in "a much safer way" and mostly given to people previously infected with the disease.
    The World Health Organization says that the first-ever vaccine for dengue needs to be dealt with in "a much safer way" and mostly given to people previously infected with the disease.
Powered by Frankly