Japan has reported more than 1,100 rubella cases this year, the most cases reported in four years. This outbreak has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel notice Monday.
Most cases continue to be reported in the Kanto region (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama).
CDC advises travelers to Japan should make sure they are vaccinated against rubella with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine before travel.
Rubella, also called German measles, is a disease spread by the coughs and sneezes of infected people. Symptoms include rash and fever for 2–3 days. Rubella is very dangerous for a pregnant woman and her developing baby. If a pregnant woman gets rubella virus, her baby could have birth defects such as deafness, cataracts (blurred vision), heart defects, mental disabilities, and organ damage.
CDC emphasizes that pregnant women who are not protected against rubella through either vaccination or previous rubella infection should not travel to Japan during this outbreak.
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