NATIONAL

Rubella infections hit 5-year high

MAR. 07, 2013

TOKYO —

The Health Ministry has announced that cases of rubella in Japan have reached a five-year high and are likely to continue to increase over the next few months.

According to doctors, in the week ending Feb 24, at least 219 people were treated for rubella, the highest infection rate in five years. TBS reported Wednesday that ministry medical records show a total of 1,029 people have been treated for rubella since the beginning of this year, a figure 23 times higher than the same period of last year.

The peak period for rubella infections is spring to summer, according to doctors. As a result, the ministry expects the number of infections to continue to increase and is calling for the families of pregnant women to request rubella vaccinations as soon as possible.

The ministry added that the symptoms of rubella include a fever, a rash, and swelling of the lymph nodes behind the ears. Doctors also said that rubella can be especially dangerous for pregnant women, whose children could be born with eye, ear and heart defects.

Japan Today

For more on this topic, read also the earlier article Rubella outbreak spreading quickly