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Health

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Rubella case confirmed at Valparaiso U.

A case of rubella, also known as German measles, has been diagnosed in an international student at Valparaiso University, the Indiana State Department of Health said tonight.

State and local health officials are working with the university to identify potential additional cases, the health department said in a statement.

Rubella is a contagious virus transmitted primarily through direct or droplet contact, the statement said. The major public health risk is for pregnant women, for whom infection could cause severe birth defects or death to an unborn baby.

The disease is rare in the United States because of a widespread vaccine, but visitors from other countries or U.S. residents traveling abroad can become infected before or during travel, the statement said.

It said Indiana had one case of rubella in 2012, but none before that since 1996.

People in Porter County and on the university campus may have been exposed, the statement said. Anyone visiting the Target in Valparaiso or the 7-11 on East Lincoln Way in Valparaiso on Sunday is asked to contact your health provider to check your immunization status.

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