Local residents that attended the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month are being warned of possible exposure to rubella, which is also known as the German measles.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has been notified by another state that one of their residents who attended the Auto Show January 13th through the 15th has been diagnosed with rubella. This individual may have been contagious while in Detroit.

Rubella is a viral illness and its symptoms can include a low-grade fever, sore throat and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. The airborne virus is spread through coughing and sneezing and symptoms can begin between 12 and 23 days. People infected with rubella are most contagious when the rash is erupting, but they can be contagious from seven days before to seven days after the rash appears.

Rubella can cause a miscarriage or serious birth defects in a developing baby if a woman is unvaccinated and infected while she is pregnant. MDHHS reports the illness can be prevented with rubella-containing vaccine, which is primarily administered as the combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and is included in the series of routine childhood immunizations.

The last time a case of rubella was reported in Michigan was 2007. More information about rubella is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at Cdc.gov/rubella.