By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Health officials in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan have reported (computer translated) a congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) case in a child from Iwaki City. This is the first CRS case in the prefecture in several years.
According to the Iwaki City Public Health Center, the boy is suspected of having congenital hearing loss and is undergoing detailed examination. The mother appears to have rubella in early pregnancy, but her vaccination history is unknown.
According to the prefecture, there were 18 cases of rubella infection in the prefecture in 2019. An effective precautionary measure is vaccination, which subsidizes the cost of antibody testing and vaccination for men and women who want to become pregnant. The prefecture calls for people who want to get pregnant to check for antibodies and those without antibodies to get a vaccine. The presence or absence of the antibody is checked by a blood test at a medical institution.
The government distributes coupons for antibodies and vaccinations to men born in 1959-78 who had not been vaccinated publicly. However, according to the prefecture, the number of users in the prefecture is only about 30% of the target. Regarding vaccination of children, the vaccination rate of this prefecture’s second vaccination targeted at the first year before elementary school entrance is 93.4%, which is falling to 42nd place in Japan, and improving the vaccination rate is an issue.
Japan recorded 2,306 rubella cases in 2019, with Tokyo (854), Kanagawa (295) and Chiba (200) reporting the most cases, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rubella, or German measles 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.
Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) is a condition that occurs in a developing baby in the womb whose mother is infected with the rubella virus. Pregnant women who contract rubella are at risk for miscarriage or stillbirth, and their developing babies are at risk for severe birth defects with devastating, lifelong consequences.
The best protection against rubella is MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine.