Case of Rubella reported at Effingham Elementary School

Mar. 10—A first grader in Effingham Elementary School has come down with rubella, according to SAU 49 Superintendent Caroline Arakelian, whose office sent notices home to parents.

Rubella, which causes red spots, a low fever, coughing and achiness, was declared eradicated 20 years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Isolated cases across the U.S. currently number roughly 10 or fewer each year.

Rubella, considered a relatively mild illness for children, can be extremely harmful to unvaccinated pregnant women and unborn children.

"Families should monitor their children for symptoms of rubella, but for those who are vaccinated, it's very unlikely" that they'll come down with it, said Arakelian, head of the Governor Wentworth Regional School District, on Friday. She said she alerted health specialists at the Department of Health and Human Services, who advised to just monitor for symptoms.

Parents do not need to keep their children home from school, Arakelian said. If symptoms develop, parents should contact their primary care providers for guidance.