Franklin cheerleading team, thousands of others exposed to mumps at Texas competiton

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Parents are on high alert at an Elizabeth Township cheerleading facility after getting word that 27 of their cheerleaders may have been exposed to mumps at a national competition last month.

"For the vast majority of people, the risk is very, very low", said Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, while also noting that there have been no reports of people developing symptoms in connection with the case.

Following the discovery, the department sent out letters to the parents of the children who participated in the competition held from February 23 to February 25. "People with mumps are infectious three days before to five days after swollen glands appear".

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Telltale signs of mumps - spread through saliva or mucus through coughing, sneezing or talking- are puffy cheeks.

In January, at least 130 people across 25 states reported having the mumps.

Van Deusen told the Post there have been no reports of cases connected to the cheering event, but added that the "incubation period" is almost at its end.

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The CDC says the MMR vaccine is "very safe" and about 88 percent effective with two doses in your system. Those who have not received a second MMR shot should get one as soon as possible, health officials suggest.

Because efficacy can wane over time, there are frequent outbreaks of mumps in the U.S. Many traveled from out-of-state.

Texas Department of Health and Human Resources said while vaccination against mumps is the best protection against mumps infection, vaccinated individuals may still become infected. There is no specific treatment, but the virus usually clears up within a few weeks. Infected people without symptoms of mumps may still be able to transmit the virus.

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