Indiana News

Rubella Confirmed in Valparaiso University Student

7/13/2013

A case of rubella has been found in an international student at Valparaiso University.

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Rubella, or German measles, is rare in the United States but Angie Cierznewski, Vaccine Preventable Disease Epidemiologist with the Indiana State Department of Health, says this case was confirmed Friday.  Health officials say people in the Porter County area or the Valparaiso University campus may have been exposed if they visited the Target on Laporte Avenue or the 7-11 on Lincoln Way on Sunday, July 7.

Cierznewski says says symptoms include a non-itchy rash that can spread quickly along with a low-grade fever.  Other symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, painful swollen joints and runny red eyes.  However, she says if a person has received the MMR vaccine, that person's odds of contracting rubella are very small.

Cierznewski says the main concern with rubella is exposure to pregnant women.  She says women who are exposed early in their pregnancy give birth, their babies could have congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) which could lead to severe birth defects.

Valparaiso University officials are contacting students, faculty and parents who may have been exposed.  Cierznewski says anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to rubella should contact their health care provider.  

Indiana had one case of rubella in 2012 but before that, there hadn't been any cases of rubella since 1996.

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