Fort Worth, Texas,
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Thousands of Cheerleaders May Have Been Exposed to Mumps. What Parents Need to Know.

9 quick facts from Doc Smitty

The Texas Department of State Health Services has issued a letter warning parents and cheerleaders from 39 states and nine counties that they may have been exposed to mumps at a cheerleading competition last month in Dallas. 

The Dallas Morning News reports that person from another state who had mumps traveled to Dallas for the National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship, which took place Feb. 23-25 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. 

At this point no Texas residents have developed mumps in connection with the case, but people are urged to watch for symptoms. 

This is another reminder about the value of vaccination in preventing what can be serious illness. Mumps cases decreased 99 percent after the introduction of a successful strategy for vaccination.


9 Quick Facts About the Mumps
  1. It is highly contagious and most often transmitted via respiratory droplets.
  2. The incubation period from exposure to symptoms can be 2-4 weeks.
  3. The most common symptoms are low-grade fever, fatigue, headache, sore muscles and joints followed by swelling of the parotid gland (which sits in front of the ear on the side of the face).
  4. The initial infection of mumps typically goes away by itself with the swelling of the parotid gland lasting up to ten days.
  5. The real concern with mumps is the secondary complications that can present during the infection.
  6. Testicular involvement (orchitis): Inflammation of the testicles occurs in up to 38 percent of males diagnosed after puberty. Although complete sterility is rare, impaired fertility and testicular atrophy occur in 13 percent and 40-50 percent respectively.
  7. Meningitis: Inflammation of the tissue surrounding the brain can occur in 4-6 percent of patients with males more frequently affected (3-4 timesas often as females). Symptoms of meningitis are fever, headache and stiff neck.
  8. Other less common complications include encephalitis (inflammation of the tissue of the brain), deafness and other neurologic symptoms, arthritis and inflammation of the pancreas.
  9. Women who contract mumps during pregnancy have an increased risk of miscarriage in the first trimester.

Here's a quick look at mumps cases over the years according to the CDC:

*Case count is preliminary and subject to change

** Cases as of Jan. 27, 2018 Case count is preliminary and subject to change

Get to know Justin Smith, M.D.

Justin Smith, M.D., is a pediatrician in Trophy Club  and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles. Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” open now. Click to learn more. To make an appointment, call 817-347-8100.



Comments 1 - 3 (3)
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Cook Children's
Great question Michelle. According to the CDC: "In 2006, the United States experienced a multi-state mumps outbreak involving more than 6,500 reported cases. This resurgence predominantly affected college-aged students living in the Midwest, with outbreaks occurring on many different Midwestern college campuses."
What happened in 2006 that sent the infection rate skyrocketing?
Joan Sierra
Thanks for this information about the seriousness of mumps. How likely is the chance that mumps symptoms could be mistaken for mononucleosis, allergic reaction l, or Bell's Palsy?

Thank you,