April 1970

A Rubella Outbreak Among Adolescent Boys

Author Affiliations

Atlanta and Los Angeles; Los Angeles
From the Acute Communicable Disease Control Division (Drs. Gross and Kamei), County of Los Angeles Health Department (Drs. Gross, Kamei, and Heidbreder); the Communicable Disease Service, Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center (Dr. Mathies), the Hastings Foundation Infectious Disease Laboratory (Dr. Portnoy and Miss Salvatore); the departments of pediatrics (Drs. Portnoy and Mathies and; Miss Salvatore) and public health (Dr. Portnoy), University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, and the National Communicable Disease Center, Atlanta (Dr. Gross). Dr. Gross is now at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Am J Dis Child. 1970;119(4):326-331. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100050328008

Intensive immunization efforts in the United States have significantly reduced the incidence of reported rubeola; consequently, the report of an outbreak of rubeola among adolescent boys in one gym class in a Los Angeles high school was regarded as highly unusual. When all the boys had been seen and the spectrum of disease reviewed, rubella was considered the most likely diagnosis. A prodrome characterized by upper-respiratory tract symptoms was present in 65% of the ill students. The rash lasted more than five days in 32%. Recognition of the atypical manifestations of rubella in older age groups may serve to alert physicians to the presence of rubella in the community. With this knowledge, immunization efforts can be directed where they are most needed in an attempt to lessen the impact of the predicted rubella epidemic.