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 (MMR) vaccine, however visitors from other countries or U.S. citizens traveling abroad can become infected before or during travel. Indiana had one case of rubella in 2012, but prior to that, the state had not had a case since 1996.
The major public health risk associated with rubella is congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), which occurs when a pregnant woman is exposed to rubella. Infection may cause severe birth defects or death in an unborn baby.
Individuals in the Porter County area and on campus may have been exposed to rubella. State health officials are asking people who visited the following locations on Sunday, July 7, 2013, to contact their health care provider to check their immunization status.
• Target (2420 Laporte Ave., Valparaiso)
• 7-11 (708 E. Lincoln Way, Valparaiso)
Valparaiso University is contacting students, faculty and parents who may have been exposed.