Tens of thousands of cheerleaders might have been exposed to mumps in Dallas

Tens of thousands of cheerleaders from 39 different states could soon be exchanging pom-poms for painkillers and ice packs. Texas health officials have warned parents of the more than 23,000 cheerleaders who attended Dallas' National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship in February that their daughters might have been exposed to the mumps.

That's according to reports from Dallas' WFAA and the Washington Post, which said Wednesday that the Department of State Health Services has issued a letter indicating that an out-of-state competitor had the viral illness during the event. The department has apparently received no reports of any follow-up cases of the mumps, but told the Post "the next few days will probably be telling" and that cheerleaders have been advised to look out for symptoms.

The National Cheerleaders Association, which has hosted cheerleading events since 1948, said on Twitter that it featured 23,655 athletes at its 2018 championship competition, in addition to 2,600 coaches from 39 different states and nine different countries.

Mumps, a contagious illness that swells salivary glands through infected saliva, tends to resolve itself after as little as a week of rest, according to the Centers for Disease Control, but is best known for the fever, puffy cheeks and swollen jaw it causes.

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