23,000+ cheerleaders potentially exposed to mumps during national competition

Tens of thousands of cheerleaders may have been exposed to the mumps during a national cheerleading competition in Dallas last month after one of the participants reportedly came down with the virus, NBC News reports.

Texas health officials reportedly sent letters to the more than 23,000 athletes and 2,600 coaches who attended the National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship, which took place Feb. 23 through Feb. 25 in Dallas. Officials did not identify the patient who reportedly contracted the virus, according to the report.

Mumps, which is spread through the saliva or mucus of an affected patient, may lead to puffy cheeks, a swollen jaw or loss of appetite, among other symptoms. In some cases, the virus may also lead to deafness or encephalitis, or swelling of the brain.

A spokesperson for the Texas Department of State Health Services told NBC News the risk of contracting the mumps in this particular case is "very, very low" for most people. He also noted there have not been any reports of people developing symptoms in connection with the cheerleading competition case thus far.

The majority of people vaccinated are protected against the virus. One dose of the vaccine is 78 percent effective, while the recommended two doses is 88 percent effective.

The CDC speculates roughly 130 cases of mumps have been reported across 25 states during the month of January. In 2017, 5,600 people reported contracting the virus, according to the agency.

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