Western Pennsylvania cheerleaders remain mumps-free after exposure warning

March 29, 2018 GMT

All clear on the mumps scare for the 27 Western Pennsylvania athletes from HotCheer AllStars who were warned of possible exposure after attending a national cheerleading competition in Texas last month.

Jenn Smith, co-owner of HotCheer in Elizabeth Township, said nobody has come down with the mumps.

“Everyone is clear,” she said Thursday. “Thanks for checking on us.”

The concern began after health officials alerted cheerleading teams that someone with mumps attended the Feb. 23-25 National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship in Dallas.

Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said the agency alerted other state health departments about the possible exposure.

The competition drew more than 23,000 athletes and 2,600 coaches from 39 states and nine countries.

“We weren’t super concerned that someone would get it,” Smith said. “I think the chances were low. We don’t even know if we were in the building at the same time as the person.”

Health experts say mumps is usually a benign infection occurring two to three weeks after exposure to the virus. Mumps is a contagious virus that causes the salivary glands in the face to become swollen, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7991, bschmitt@tribweb.com or via Twitter at @Bencschmitt.