MDHHS alerts Auto Show attendees about possible rubella exposure

LANSING, Mich.  —  People who attended the North American International Auto Show in Detroit between January 13-15 possibly could’ve been exposed to rubella, also known as the German measles.

The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services alerted attendees Friday, after being notified by another state that one of its residents who attended the Auto Show has been diagnosed with rubella. The MDHHS did not specify in a news release which state that resident is from, but “this individual may have been contagious while in Detroit.”

Rubella is an airborne virus that is spread through coughing and sneezing. The MDHHS says symptoms of the viral illness can start to appear within 12 to 23 days after exposure. Those symptoms can include a low-grade fever, sore throat and a rash that starts on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body. It’s most contagious when the rash is emerging, but can be contagious from seven days before to seven days after the rash appears, according to the news release.

“Rubella can cause a miscarriage or serious birth defects in a developing baby if a woman is unvaccinated and infected while she is pregnant. Rubella can be prevented with rubella-containing vaccine, which is primarily administered as the combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and is included in the series of routine childhood immunizations,” says the MDHHS.

Anyone who may have been exposed or is unsure about his or her vaccination status should contact their healthcare provider. The last rubella case reported in Michigan was in 2007.

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