Oklahoma Cheerleaders Possibly Exposed To Mumps In Dallas
DALLAS, Texas - Tens of thousands of cheerleaders from 39-states, including Oklahoma, may have been exposed to the mumps during a competition in Dallas last month.
"It was fun, it's one of our favorite competitions. So we all have a fun time going down there, we have a blast at the hotels, hanging out with each other," said cheerleader Cailley Hunsaker.
18-year-old Hunsaker was one of 26 cheerleaders from Oklahoma Extreme Tumbling and Trampoline in Bixby that competed in Dallas a couple weeks ago.
"It's the biggest all-star competition in the whole entire world," said Hunsaker.
That competition is now making national news with concerns over a potential mumps outbreak after 23,000 athletes and 2,600 coaches were exposed. The competitors heard about the concerns for the first time Wednesday morning.
“It's always a concern any time you're at a big event and there's a lot of crowds," said coach Dustin Hinds.
The Texas Department of Health sent out a letter saying a competitor had the viral illness.
Cailley's coach and owner of OK Extreme All Star Cheer was with the team in Dallas. He said this is the first health scare he's experienced.
“At other events we've had other issues happen, certain scares, ice storms while we're traveling, stuff like that. You just want to make sure everyone is healthy and safe especially going out of state," said Hinds.
You don't hear about mumps often so News On 6 met up with a medical professional at the Tulsa health department to learn more.
"Mumps is a viral respiratory disease that's actually spread the same way the flu is," said Nicole Schlaefli with the Tulsa Health Department.
The best way to prevent it is with a vaccine. Children usually get their first shots at 12 to 15 months and 2nd dose around 4 to 6 years old.
"Mumps is actually something that affects everybody and it can affect you at any time,” said Schlaefli.
So far, there was just the initial case reported but symptoms can show up as long as 25 days later, which would be near the end of this month.
While the health scare is the focus of this story, it's worth noting OK Extreme All Star placed 6th in their group.