State warns of potential rubella exposure at Detroit auto show

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News
People walk through the Nissan display during the final day of the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center, in Detroit on Jan. 27, 2019.

Detroit — State officials are alerting the public of potential exposure to the rubella virus this month during the North American International Auto Show.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services was notified by another state that an out-of-state resident who attended the auto show between Jan. 13-15 has a confirmed case of rubella and could have been contagious while in Detroit. 

The Detroit auto show finished its 16-day run Sunday with an overall ticketed attendance of 774,179.  

According to the Center for Disease Control, rubella — a condition also known as the German measles — is a viral airborne illness that is spread through coughing and sneezing. 

Its symptoms can begin between 12-23 days after exposure and include a low-grade fever, sore throat and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.

"People infected with rubella are most contagious when the rash is erupting, but they can be contagious from seven days before to seven days after the rash appears," according to the health department press release.

The last time a case of rubella was reported in Michigan was 2007, according to the department.

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 is a vaccine-preventable disease, which is primarily given as the combination measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and is included in the series of routine childhood immunizations.

Individuals who may have been exposed and unsure of their vaccination status should contact their healthcare provider with any questions. 

More information about rubella is available from the CDC at
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