According to the WHO,’Rubella is a contagious, generally mild viral infection that occurs most often in children and young adults. Rubella is the leading vaccine-preventable cause of birth defects. Rubella infection in pregnant women may cause fetal death or congenital defects known as congenital rubella syndrome. There is no specific treatment for rubella but the disease is preventable by vaccination.’
The highest number of the almost 10 000 total confirmed rubella cases in 2018 (excluding December 2018) has been reported in China – more than 2500 -, followed by India (>1000), Indonesia (>800), Ethiopia (>600) and Nigeria (>400). The highest Rubella rate (per million population) is recorded in Sierra Leone (56), followed by South Africa (34) and Indonesia (20).
In 2001 the WHO launched the Measles and Rubella Initiative (MRI) in order to eradicate both diseases through vaccination.