Austin Public Health confirms first case of Rubella in Travis County since 1999

Dr. David Kaylor with Baylor Scott & White medical center said he's never seen a case of rubella, especially not the ER.

The German Measles disease hasn't reared its ugly head in Travis County in 20 years until Wednesday.

Austin Public Health reported someone living in Travis County traveled to Thailand and was diagnosed with the virus.
"The actual illness is a fever for a couple of days, a rash for three days it's very mild for children. In adults it tends to be a little more severe they get arthritis they can get pink eye, some sore throat, and cough," Dr. Taylor said. "If a pregnant female catches German Measles or Rubella there's all sorts of congenital birth defects, very common in hearing, hearts or eyes."
Less than a month ago, APH confirmed the first case of measles and listed specific areas the infected person visited. Symptoms of Rubella are similar to Measles but it's not as highly contagious.
"It's respiratory, secretions just like other viruses of that nature Measles being that way and the flu but unlike Measles, it's not as hardy and isn't as easily contracted," said Dr. Kaylor.
Most cases are associated with international travel.

The CDC states Rubella is a preventable disease covered by the MMR vaccine. Rubella was declared eliminated from the U.S in 2004.

Although the Austin Travis County area has a relatively high vaccination rate Austin Public Health said there are pockets of communities of people who opt-out of vaccinations.
"This is one of those cases where people will say well the symptom case is light it's a fever with a mild rash and it's gone in three days however to the unborn child the symptom course could be devastated for their life so that's where the debate over immunizations gets rather tough," Dr. Kaylor.
Austin Public Health said the Rubella patient was exposed to a school, both teachers and parents were notified and the CDC also notified people who were on the same flight from Thailand.