Michigan officials issue warning about potential rubella exposure at Detroit auto show

Out-of-state attendee may have been contagious

Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination
Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination (CNN)

DETROIT – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a warning that North American International Auto Show attendees may have been exposed to rubella.

Guests who attended the show between Jan. 13-15 may have been exposed to the virus, also know as German measles. Officials said an out-of-state auto show attendee may have been contagious with the viral illness when they visited the event.

Rubella is spread through direct contact and nasopharyngeal secretion droplets.

Signs of the sickness include fever, a mild maculopapular rash and Lymphadenopathy, or swollen lymph nodes. Health officials said the rash, which occurs in 50-80 percent of infected people, usually begins on the face but becomes generalized within 24 hours and lasts an average of three days.

Lymphadenopathy, which may precede the rash, often involves posterior auricular or suboccipital lymph nodes, and can be generalized. It lasts between five to eight days.

The average incubation period of the virus is 17 days, but it can range from 12 to 23 days. People infected with rubella are most contagious when the rash is erupting, howeverm it can be contagious from seven days before to seven days after the rash appears.

Rubella can lead to a miscarriage or serious birth defects in a developing baby if a woman is infected while she is pregnant

A rubella-containing vaccine is typically given to children in a combination measles-mumps-rubella vaccination.

The MDHHS said the illness was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2004. Fewer than 10 cases have been reported in the nation since that declaration, though it does occur commonly in other parts of the world. 

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