Japanese health officials reported an additional 134 rubella cases the last week of September, bringing the total cases this year to 952 according to data reported by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

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This total is more than 10 times the total cases reported in 2017 (93).

Tokyo alone has accounted for more than 300 cases this year, while 195 cases have been reported in in Chiba Prefecture and 108 in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Rubella, or German measles infection in people is typically mild. However, in pregnant women, rubella can cause death or birth defects such as cataracts, deafness, glaucoma, and heart, lung and brain abnormalities in an unborn baby (fetus) during the first few months of pregnancy.

Rubella is a highly contagious disease. People who are infected with rubella are infectious from 1 week before to at least 4 days after the rash appears. It is transmitted through airborne droplet or close contact with the patient, but it is vaccine-preventable.