The number of Rubella, or German measles cases in Japan has increased this year, particularly in the Tokyo metropolitan area, prompting calls for vaccination in the country.
According to the Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases, as of last week, 184 rubella cases have been reported in Japan, scores more cases than reported last year. The Tokyo-Chiba area has seen the bulk of cases with 109.
The institute is recommending vaccination to males in their 30s to 50s who have not contracted rubella and have no records of vaccination. The same advice is also given to people who frequently come in contact with pregnant women and their families, as well as women who have the possibility of getting pregnant.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rubella is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Most people who get rubella usually have a mild illness, with symptoms that can include a low-grade fever, sore throat, and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Rubella can cause a miscarriage or serious birth defects in an developing baby if a woman is infected while she is pregnant. The best protection against rubella is MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine.
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