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Published On: Tue, Jul 30th, 2013

Rubella cases continue to climb in Japan and Poland

Two countries on opposite sides of the globe continue their battle with the vaccine-preventable viral infection, rubella, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

The federal health agency reported as of July 17, 2013, 12,832 rubella cases have been reported in Japan during 2013. Numbers of rubella cases have been highest in Osaka, Tokyo Metropolis, Kanagawa, and Kagoshima Prefectures. The peak period for rubella is spring to summer in Japan. Reported cases have substantially increased over the last several months and are expected to continue to increase.

This is up from 8,500 cases reported at the end of May this year.

In Poland, the CDC reports that as of July 15, 2013, a total of 35,061 cases of rubella have been reported in Poland since the beginning of 2013. The entire country is affected, but the western region (Malopolskie and Wielkopolskie provinces) has the highest number of cases. Other provinces with high numbers of cases include Lublin, Lubusz, Kuyavian-Pomeranian, Podkarpackie, Pomeranian, and Zachodniopomorskie (West Pomeranian).

This number is up from 26,000 cases reported just a month ago.

Rubella, also called German measles, is a disease spread by the coughs and sneezes of infected people. Symptoms include rash and fever for 2 to 3 days. Some people do not feel sick. If a pregnant woman gets rubella virus, her baby could have birth defects such as deafness, cataracts, heart defects, mental disabilities, and organ damage.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

Rubella has been eliminated in the United States. Travelers going outside the United States are at risk for rubella. Because rubella infections without symptoms are common, travelers may be unaware that they have been in contact with an infected person.

Vaccination is the best prevention against rubella. The only rubella vaccines available in the United States are the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and the measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccines.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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