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El Paso cheerleaders being watched after mumps exposure at Dallas competition

Cheerleaders in Uniform Holding Pom-Poms (Courtesy: Thinkstock)

At least one El Paso high school and an all-star cheerleading team were affected by a mumps exposure at a cheerleading competition in Dallas.

Gustavo Reveles, with the El Paso Independent School District, said the Burges High School cheerleaders went to the National Cheerleaders Association All-Star championship last month.

It was held from Feb. 23 to Feb. 25 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

Reveles said the district is aware of the exposure and is being vigilant in watching the cheerleaders for signs and symptoms of the illness.

One parent tells us his daughter is part of Knight Time Cheer in El Paso, a team who was also at the competition. The parent says they received a phone call from the Centers for Disease Control alerting them of the possible exposure. They were told to watch for symptoms, he said.

KTC squads are made up of students from all over El Paso.

Mumps is a contagious viral illness. Symptoms include swollen or tender salivary glands, swollen or tender testicles, low-grade fever, tiredness and muscle aches, according to the Texas Department of State Services.

Mumps is spread through saliva and respiratory droplets created when a sick person coughs or sneezes. Sharing cups and utensils can 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.

Children usually receive the first mumps, measles, and rubella, or MMR, vaccine at 12 to 15 months of age and the second dose at 4 to 6 years old. The MMR vaccine is not recommended for children less than 1 year of age. Adults who have not had two doses of MMR vaccine can receive the vaccine.

A letter was sent to parents by the state health department, informing them about the exposure.

CNN reported that about 230,000 people attended the cheerleading competition. More than 25,000 of those people were athletes and coaches, according to the NCA.

So far, no illnesses linked to the mumps exposure at the competition have been reported, according to CNN.

It can take as long as 25 days from being infected before people begin to develop symptoms, medical experts say.

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