Rubella case diagnosed at Valparaiso University - FOX 35 News Orlando

Rubella case diagnosed at Valparaiso University

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VALPARAISO, Ind. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A case of rubella, commonly known as German measles, has been diagnosed in an international student at Valparaiso University, according to the Indiana Department of Health.

State and local health officials are working with the university to identify potential additional cases, the department said Friday, and it is alerting the public to the possibility of having been exposed.

The state is advising anyone who visited Target, 2420 LaPorte Ave., or 7-11, 708 E. Lincolnway, on Sunday, July 7, to contact their health-care provider to check their immunization status.

"Rubella is a contagious, viral respiratory disease transmitted primarily through direct or droplet contact," the department said in its announcement. "Rubella is rare in the United States due to the widespread availability of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine."

But residents of other countries, or Americans traveling abroad, can contract the disease and bring it to the U.S.

Indiana had one case of rubella in 2012, but prior to that, the state had not had a case since 1996, according to the Department of Health.

The major risk associated with rubella occurs when a pregnant woman is exposed to it. Infection may cause severe birth defects or death in an unborn baby.

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

More than 95 percent of people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to rubella and more than 99 percent will be protected after receiving a second dose, according to the Department of Health. One dose of rubella-containing vaccine is needed to be fully protected. Individuals are encouraged to check with their health care providers to ensure vaccinations are up-to-date.

Children are routinely vaccinated for rubella at 1 year of age, and again at 4 to 6 years of age before going to kindergarten.

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