Rubella infections across Japan raise concerns: Report
An outbreak of rubella across Japan is raising concerns, with authorities calling for people to get vaccinated to stem a growing number of cases, local media reported.
File photo showing a vial of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and an information sheet.
The number of rubella patients in the country has surged since 19 were reported in July this year in Tokyo, Chiba and Aichi.
At least 1,884 people have been infected so far, the Japan Times reported on Monday (Nov 19), citing the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.
Some municipal governments and companies have started to offer free vaccinations, the report said.
However, it cited Keiko Taya of the institute’s infectious diseases and epidemiology centre as saying that many people were still unaware of such services.
"I want people to search (for information) online and (get vaccinated) immediately. We have to stop a rise in the number of patients to prevent a pandemic,” the Japan Times reported her as saying.
Last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) raised its alert level for the rubella outbreak to level two, the second-highest of its three-level warnings.
On its website, the CDC advises those going to Japan to make sure they are vaccinated before they travel, and says that pregnant women who are not protected against rubella should not travel to Japan during the outbreak./.