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Plant Workers Diagnosed with Rubella

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RAEFORD — A case of fear broke out Thursday morning at aHoke County turkey plant following news of two diagnosed cases of rubella.

Supervisors at the House of Raeford are trying contain the outbreakbefore it spreads. The Hoke County Health Department is attempting toimmunize as many people as possible. So far, 500 workers at the plant havebeen vaccinated.

Two Mexican migrant workers were found to have the contagious disease.That concerns health officials because Mexicans often are not immunizedagainst mumps, measles and rubella as are most United States residents.That makes the migrant community highly susceptible to a rapid spread ofthe disease, which can be particularly dangerous to pregnant women.

Hoke Health Director Don Womble told WRAL-TV5'sBret Baier most people don't have toworry, but that anyone who is pregnant and believes she may have beenexposed should contact her doctor.

Womble says most U.S. residents are immune, but would not be terriblysickened if they acquired the disease. But a first trimester fetus couldbe seriously endangered.

Health officials are also going out into the migrant community toeducate, immunize and see if others have contracted rubella.

In recent years there have been outbreaks in Union and ChathamCounties.

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