The boys and girls at the 2018 National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship in Dallas were hoping to go home with a trophy.
Some got a little more – exposure to mumps.
Mumps at the National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship
If you don’t have a kid in competitive cheer, you should know that the NCA All-Star Nationals is a big deal.
Over 1,300 teams with more than 23,000 cheerleaders were competing. They came from 9 countries and 38 states for a 3 day competition at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas.
They worked hard, but they had fun.
And some of them may have been exposed to mumps.
What to Do If You Were Exposed to Mumps at the NCA All-Star Nationals
So what do you do if you were exposed to mumps in Dallas?
Still, mumps is not nearly as contagious as other vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles. You generally have to have close contact with someone with mumps to catch it.
“The mumps virus replicates in the upper respiratory tract and spreads through direct contact with respiratory secretions or saliva or through fomites. The risk of spreading the virus increases the longer and the closer the contact a person has with someone who has mumps.”
CDC on Mumps for Healthcare Providers
Unless you were on the same team as the person with mumps (if it was a cheerleader), your risk of getting sick probably isn’t that high. Of course, the risk goes up the more contact you had.
Unfortunately, neither a post-exposure dose of MMR nor immune globulin work to prevent mumps after you are already exposed.
At this point, whether or not your child is vaccinated, all you can do is wait and watch to see if they develop signs or symptoms of mumps.
With an incubation period of 12 to 25 days, that means that those who were exposed could get sick between March 7 and March 22.
Mumps and Cheer
Not surprisingly, this isn’t the first time we are hearing about mumps at a cheer competition.
In 2016, mumps exposures at several cheer competitions in North Texas led to at least 11 cases of mumps.
Why cheer? It’s not cheer, but the nature of cheer competitions. You just have a lot of older kids together at these competitions from a lot of different places and the MMR vaccine is known to have an issue with waning immunity.
Fortunately, most of these kids are vaccinated, which helps keep these outbreaks from really getting out of control, like they did in the pre-vaccine era.
What to Know About Mumps at the NCA All-Star Nationals
Tens of thousands of kids could have been exposed to mumps at a cheerleader competition in Dallas.
More on Mumps at the NCA All-Star Nationals
- CDC – Mumps Outbreak-Related Questions and Answers for Patients
- CDC – Transmission of Mumps
- CDC – Mumps for Healthcare Providers
- CDC – Prevention of Measles, Rubella, Congenital Rubella Syndrome, and Mumps, 2013: Summary Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
- CDC – Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of a Third Dose of Mumps Virus-Containing Vaccine in Persons at Increased Risk for Mumps During an Outbreak (ACIP)
- Study – Impact of a third dose of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine on a mumps outbreak
- Ask the Experts about MMR
- CDC – Mumps Cases and Outbreaks
- You have been exposed to MUMPS….now what?
- Managing Mumps Exposures in Health Care Workers
- Cheerleaders from 39 states, 9 countries possibly exposed to mumps at downtown Dallas competition
- North Texas mumps cases could be tied to cheerleading contests