BELLPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A suspected case of rubella at a Long Island high school has tested negative for the disease.
The South Country School District had alerted parents twice in the last week that educators had symptoms similar to the virus and were taking precautions of sanitizing parts of Bellport High School.
But late Wednesday a spokesman for the New York State Health Department told CBS2 that the first diagnosed cased had actually tested negative for the virus.
The spokesman was not aware of a second possible case, which school officials called “undetermined.”
Rubella, also known as German measles, is a very rare virus in the United States. It has been all but eradicated because of the vaccine most children receive in their first year or two of life.
A nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital spoke to CBS2 about the illness and its concerns.
“It presents with a fever, headache, runny nose, your eyes are bloodshot and then the rash will develop,” Kathy DiBenedetto said. “It starts on the face, goes to the trunk and extends down to the arm. And within a few days it does disappear.
“The concern is a person is contagious one to two weeks prior to breaking out with the rash. So this is how it can spread in an area with unvaccinated people, because you don’t know,” DiBenedetto added.
The virus caused serious birth defects in thousands of children during an outbreak in the 1960s.
The state Department of Health said it has no current confirmed cases and had only two cases last year.
For more information about rubella, click here.