DALLAS, Texas – Parents are being warned that their children may have been exposed to a person who tested positive for the mumps at a cheerleading championship in Dallas.

The infected person attended the National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship in Dallas from Feb. 23 to Feb. 25 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Mumps is a viral illness that is highly contagious, but there is preventative vaccine. Symptoms of the illness include swollen salivary glands, swollen testicles, low-grade fever, fatigue, and muscle aches.

The spreading of mumps occurs through saliva or from respiratory droplets created when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The incubation time for symptoms to arise can take up to 25 days, but usually shows signs in 14 to 18 days. 

People who have tested positive for mumps are contagious for three to five days after symptoms appear. However, the Texas Department of State Health Services said infected people can transmit the virus even without showing symptoms. 

Mumps vaccines are given to children coupled with the measles and rubella vaccines at the age of 12 to 15 months. Anyone who is unsure of their children’s vaccination status is encouraged by the TDSHS to contact their doctor. The TDSHS said the best way to protect against mumps is to get the vaccine.

If parents or children who attended the event begin to show signs of the virus they are asked to call their health care provider immediately or Health Services at 512-776-7676.

The mumps vaccine was created in 1967 and was mostly eradicated until a trend arose in Texas in 2016 with 191 cases reported, according to TDSHS.

Students that test positive for the mumps can be asked to leave school under Texas law, Rule 97.9.

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