Do you remember when we used to have rubella outbreaks in the United States?
Yeah, me neither, but in the rubella epidemics of the 1960s, rubella caused 2,100 neonatal deaths and 20,000 infants to be born with congenital rubella syndrome.
Japan’s Rubella Outbreak
Thanks to the rubella vaccine, the ‘R’ in the MMR, we rarely hear about rubella anymore.
Tragically, like measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases, rubella is coming back.
|Rubella||Congenital Rubella Syndrome|
There are still relatively few cases, but most of us would like to keep it that way.
We remember that with the return of measles in the late 1980s, rubella came back right along with it, causing 13 deaths and 77 cases of congenital rubella syndrome!
And that’s what is happening in many countries right now.
In Japan, for example, in addition to a rise in measles cases this year, they are seeing big outbreaks of rubella, with weekly totals exceeding 100 cases! These are numbers that are close to what they saw during outbreaks in 2013, a year that ended with 14,344 cases of rubella and 32 cases of congenital rubella syndrome.
And they are already reporting at least one case of congenital rubella syndrome, a 4 week old, which is not surprising, considering that they had nearly 3,000 cases of rubella last year.
Is that what we want to happen here too? Are folks looking forward to having to worry about babies being born with congenital rubella syndrome, a vaccine-preventable disease?
A vaccine-preventable disease that was declared eliminated in the United States in 2004.
More on Japan’s Rubella Outbreak
- VAXOPEDIA – Why Didn’t Everyone Die with Our 1980s Level of Vaccination Rates?
- VAXOPEDIA – Eradicated Diseases
- VAXOPEDIA – Where Is Measles on the Rise?
- VAXOPEDIA – Why Do We Only Worry About Measles?
- VAXOPEDIA – Did Your Rubella Titer Come Back Negative?
- Rubella cases exceed 100 in single week
- CDC Travel Alert – Rubella in Japan (level 2)
- CDC Travel Alert – Measles in Japan (level 1)
- MMWR – Summary of Notifiable Infectious Diseases and Conditions — United States
- Rubella virus and birth defects
- Ask the Experts about Measles, Mumps, and Rubella