Minnesota health officials report rubella caseby Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A Twin Cities woman in her 30s is the state's first confirmed rubella case since 2000. The Minnesota Department of Health doesn't know how the woman contracted the disease, also known as German measles. But she had never been immunized against it.
The woman has since recovered, and investigators are checking on people who may have had contact with her.
Rubella causes a rash, fever and swelling in most cases. But if a pregnant woman contracts the disease, her fetus can develop severe birth defects or die.
Immunizations expert Kris Ehresmann says the case is a reminder that people should stay up-to-date with their vaccinations.
"It's very easy to think, 'Oh, we just don't see these diseases and it's not really an issue,' and sort of let down your guard," said Ehresmann. "But as we've seen in the last number of weeks, many of the diseases that we think are gone do pop up. So having that assurance of protection from vaccination is really important."
Earlier this week the Health Department reported the state's second case of polio infection caused by the live oral vaccine, which was discontinued nine years ago.
The patient was an adult who had a weakened immune system and multiple health problems.