Austin Public Health confirms first Rubella case since 1999

Austin Public Health is investigating a confirmed Rubella case, the first in over 20 years. 

The announcement comes less than a month after the first confirmed Measles case in Travis County since 1989. According to officials, there are less typically less than ten Rubella cases nationwide and are usually associated with international travel. 

Rubella Symptoms

  • Red Rash
  • Low-grade fever 
  • Headache
  • Mild pink-eye
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Cough or runny nose 

Rubella is covered by the MMR vaccination and while the Austin/Travis County area has a high vaccination rate, there are still some communities where vaccination opt-outs bring the community at risk. 

RELATED: First case of measles in Travis County since 1999, Austin Public Health confirms

Austin Public Health warn that children and pregnant women are greatly impacted by Rubella. State law requires unvaccinated children who attend school with an infected child must stay home for 21 days following contact. 

"Along with the requirement to keep your unvaccinated child home for weeks, there are significant health risks to being exposed to Rubella,” said Dr. Mark Escott, interim health authority and medical director for Austin Public Health. “Please, check if you and your family are up-to-date on vaccinations to prevent the comeback of these previously eliminated diseases.”

According to officials, Rubella is less contagious than the Measles, but the virus has similar symptoms and is contracted the same way. The virus spreads through an infected person's mucus, usually through cough or sneezing. 

Children should receive their first dose of the MMR vaccine between 12 and 15 months old and another dose between the age of 4-6 years old. 

For more information and updates on Rubella, click here.