Vaccinations were in order | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Vaccinations were in order

Posted By on Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 3:18 PM

The Health Department says the ill foreign visitor to the Walmart shareholders' meeting last week had rubella, so shots given to 142 people who might have come in contact apparently were in order. First case of rubella reported in Arkansas in 10 years.

NEWS RELEASE

Health Department Determines International Visitor Had
Rubella (German Measles or Three-Day Measles)

(Little Rock—) Laboratory testing has confirmed that a visitor who was scheduled to participate at a recent Walmart Shareholders Meeting held at the University of Arkansas and who became sick with a rash illness had rubella. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) vaccinated 142 persons that were potentially exposed to this person for mumps, measles and rubella (MMR vaccine). There is no evidence of any disease in anyone else associated with the meeting. The patient has recovered.

"There is no risk of rubella to the general public, students at the University of Arkansas or Walmart Shareholders Meeting participants that were not in close contact with this individual," according to James Phillips, MD, Director of the Infectious Disease Branch at ADH. The Health Department has tracked close contacts and all have received vaccination.

The United States had 16 cases of rubella in 2008 and provisional data report three cases in 2009; Arkansas hasn't had a case of rubella since 2000. Almost all cases can be linked to foreign travel or immigration. All those born before 1957 or who have had two doses of mumps, measles, rubella vaccine (MMR) should be protected or immune from the disease. The MMR vaccination series is part of the childhood immunization series that children receive prior to attending school.

Rubella is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that usually causes mild disease in adults with fever and a rash. It is preventable with vaccination. Pregnant women are most at risk for serious complications, and this disease can result in birth defects for the fetus or death of the fetus.

The Arkansas Department of Health urges that any Arkansan or visitor to the state that has not been vaccinated for rubella receive MMR vaccine from their doctor.


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