German measles (rubella) outbreak spreading nationwide in Japan

A rubella epidemic is continuing in Japan where a total of 8,507 cases have been reported from all over Japan. The outbreak was initially focused in Tokyo, but cases have now been reported from Osaka, Hyogo and Kanagawa. Most of the cases have occurred in unvaccinated men.

Infection with the German measles (rubella) virus has serious consequences for pregnant women in their first 3 months of pregnancy. The virus infects the fetus and can cause miscarriages, foetal death or sever congenital defects that include hearing impairments, eye and heart defects, autism, diabetes mellitus, and thyroid problems. This disease is preventable through vaccination, and travellers to Japan who might be pregnant or become pregnant should ensure that their childhood vaccinations, including the MMR vaccination, are up-to-date prior to travelling.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of German Measles.

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