The Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) department reported today an imported Rubella case in a Texas Christian University (TCU). Officials say the student recently traveled in a region of the world with known rubella cases.
TCPH is actively working with TCU school officials to trace possible contacts, assess immune status and offer immunization for those who have not completed their school-required MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccinations.
“Rubella is a disease that can spread amongst a crowd of non-immunized people. The good news is we have a very safe and effective MMR vaccine to prevent it,” said Tarrant County Health Director Vinny Taneja. “We are supporting TCU by working with all known contacts of this student and the university. We want to assure the TCU student body and our community that they are safe.”
Rubella, or German measles infection in people is typically mild. However, in pregnant women, rubella can cause death or birth defects such as cataracts, deafness, glaucoma, and heart, lung and brain abnormalities in an unborn baby (fetus) during the first few months of pregnancy.
Rubella is a highly contagious disease. People who are infected with rubella are infectious from 1 week before to at least 4 days after the rash appears. It is transmitted through airborne droplet or close contact with the patient, but it is vaccine-preventable.
Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today