Thousands of cheerleaders exposed to mumps at Dallas competition, health officials warn

DALLAS – Thousands of cheerleaders and their entourages are being warned to watch for symptoms after being exposed to mumps at a recent cheer competition in Dallas, according to state health officials.

The Texas Department of State Health Services says a contestant from outside Texas, who attended the National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship, had the mumps and was contagious. More than 26,000 competitors and coaches from 39 states and 9 countries attended the February 23-25 competition at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas.

The mumps virus is typically spread through saliva and respiratory droplets when someone with it coughs or sneezes. No cases connected to the cheer competition have been reported in Texas, but health officials are warning those possibly exposed to watch for symptoms, which include swollen or tender salivary glands, usually on the neck where ear and jaw meet.