In a follow-up on the Japan rubella outbreak, the case count through Nov. 11 has topped the 2,000 mark for the first time in five years.

Japan Image/CIA

According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 2,032 cases have been reported in the country. More than 700 cases were reported in Tokyo.

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 a developing baby if a woman is infected while she is pregnant. The best protection against rubella is MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine.