Playing Roulette With Rubella in China

Rubella virus is preventable with the MMR-II or Proquad vaccines
roulette wheel inside a casino
China (Vax Before Travel)

An outbreak of rubella has been reported at 2 commercial locations in Macau, China. 

According to reporting on April 16, 2019, there have been 19 employees of City of Dreams casino resort on Cotai, and StarWorld Hotel on Macau peninsula, diagnosed with rubella during 2019. 

Local health officials instructed the 2 casinos to immediately disinfect their workplaces. 

And, a letter was delivered to the city’s Labour Affairs Bureau to “reflect concerns” it had regarding rubella infection cases reported at these facilities. 

This Macau rubella outbreak led the region’s health authority to test the blood of pregnant women working at these facilities. 

This precautionary measure is because pregnant women who get rubella during the 1st trimester, can infect their fetus, which can lead to a miscarriage or congenital conditions and abnormalities in the fetus, says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

There is no specific treatment for rubella but the disease is preventable by vaccination, according to the CDC. 

While rubella is sometimes referred to as “German measles,” rubella and measles viruses are unrelated and are from different virus families. 

However, they do have some similarities, such as:

  • are spread from person to person by coughing and sneezing
  • can result in fever and skin rash after infection
  • survives only in human hosts

Rubella was eliminated from the United States in 2004. However, rubella remains a health risk and can be brought into the USA by people who get infected in other countries.   

As an example, the CDC reaffirmed it's Level 2 Travel Alert for Japan, where there is an ongoing rubella outbreak, on March 15th, 2019. 

Recent measles news articles:

Measles and rubella can be prevented with vaccines that can be delivered together as a combined measles-rubella (MR) vaccine, or combined with vaccines against mumps (MMR) and varicella (chickenpox) (MMRV).   

In the USA, there are 2 approved rubella vaccines, MMR-II, and ProQuad available at most pharmacies. 

American travelers to China can request a rubella vaccine appointment at Vax-Before-Travel. 

Vaccine discounts and financial assistance can be found at Vaccine Discounts.

Relevant Links:  CDC vaccination schedules, CDC vaccine price list, international travel alerts, and report vaccine side effects.