International student at Valparaiso University diagnosed with rubella

2013-07-13T20:45:00Z International student at Valparaiso University diagnosed with rubellaTimes Staff
July 13, 2013 8:45 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | A Valparaiso University international student has been diagnosed with rubella, also known as German measles, health officials said.

State and local health officials are working with the university to identify potential additional cases.

Rubella is a contagious, viral respiratory disease transmitted primarily through direct or droplet contact.

Rubella is rare in the United States due to the widespread availability of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. However, visitors from other countries or U.S. citizens traveling abroad can become infected before or during travel, health officials said.

Indiana had one case of rubella in 2012. Before that, the state had not had a case since 1996.

The major public health risk associated with rubella is congenital rubella syndrome, which occurs when a pregnant woman is exposed to rubella. Infection may cause severe birth defects or death of an unborn baby.

Individuals in the Porter County area and on campus may have been exposed to rubella.

Those who visited the following locations July 7 are asked to contact their health care provider to check their immunization status: Target, 2420 LaPorte Ave., or 7-11, 708 E. Lincolnway.

Valparaiso University is contacting students, faculty and parents who may have been exposed.

Symptoms in children include a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body, accompanied by a low fever.

Older children and adults also may have swollen glands and symptoms like a cold before the rash appears.

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