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Rubella infection spikes in Japan

13 Comments

The number of rubella patients reported in Japan this year stood at 362, nearly quadrupling from the previous year, with many of the cases located in Tokyo and its vicinity, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases said Tuesday.

The institute is warning a potential rubella outbreak could even affect the operation of Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan in 2020 and is urging people, mainly men in their 30s to 50s, to get vaccinations as many have not been vaccinated sufficiently against rubella.

The latest report through Sept. 2 showed 75 cases were newly reported in a week, down from 97 in the previous week. Of these, 28 were in Tokyo, followed by 11 in Chiba Prefecture, eight in Kanagawa Prefecture, seven in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan and five each in Ibaraki and Saitama prefectures.

Rubella, a highly contagious disease often transmitted through coughing and sneezing, can have a serious health impact if contracted by women in the early stages of pregnancy as it tends to cause birth defects such as heart disorders, hearing impairments and cataracts in babies.

Vaccination is effective in preventing infection, but women who are already pregnant cannot be vaccinated as the vaccine itself is feared to have an impact on the child.

In 2013, Japan saw a major rubella outbreak, with over 10,000 people being infected. Cases of infection have since declined but there has been a resurgence since late July this year, with many of the patients being men in their 30s and older.

© KYODO

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

13 Comments
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Get vaccinated. Isn't this a standard childhood vaccination?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Apalling! why aren't they vaccinated!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I wonder if they were vaccinated and perhaps it's worn off. Not sure about rubella but a few years back I caught whooping cough, b/c once you hit 40 your childhood immunization can wear off. It did and the Japanese name for WC (hyakunichizeki) is spot on. Coughed my brains out for more than 3 months.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Immunity for many vaccines only lasts around 30 years or so. Generally this is enough to get over childhood when the diseases are most dangerous, but with people having children later, lack of immunity to rubella can be a risk for pregnant women.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I thought every women receives rubella vaccinations in her early teens. Oh, hang on! That’s in countries where it is 2018. I forgot it’s still 1918 in Japan.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Looks like Japan isn't immune to anti-vaccination nuttas.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looks like Japan isn't immune to anti-vaccination nuttas.

I don't know if the anti-vaxx idiots are to blame in Japan, but in countries where this thinking has taken hold, there is going to be a massive spike in illnesses that had been virtually eradicated. It is actually this near elimination that makes people less frightened of them: "Rubella, what's that?"

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Blame China

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

SARS, bird flu, swine flu

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I thought every women receives rubella vaccinations in her early teens. Oh, hang on! That’s in countries where it is 2018.

I think that's only in your mind. Rubella vaccination is recommended for all young children (i.e. boy and girls) between about ages 1 to 5. As the vaccination is considered potentially harmful to a fetus in the early stages of pregnancy, I think giving the vaccination to all girls in their early teens would be considered risky.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Vaccinate.... and refuse school and care to children not vaccinated. The science is conclusive on saftey

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think giving the vaccination to all girls in their early teens would be considered risky.

You think wrong. Before the MMR it was normal for girls aged 12 and 13 to be vaccinated for rubella in the UK. You have to vaccinate before they are sexually active, the HPV vaccine is given at this age for the same reason.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Before the MMR it was normal for girls aged 12 and 13 to be vaccinated for rubella in the UK. 

But was it a good idea? I've read that the UK rubella program for adolescent girls was considered a failure, and was revised to cover infants and only "targeted" adolescents.

I actually contracted rubella in the UK in 1978 when I was 23. The doctor initially suggested I attend a "rubella party" which was where infected adults mixed with young girls in order to infect them. (Sounds weird.) He later told me that the idea was no longer in vogue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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