Map created by CUHK SpatioEpi Group
In 2018, Japan experienced an outbreak of rubella, which caused concerns of travelers as places like Tokyo are hot destinations for holidays. The reported number of rubella cases was 1884 from 1st January 2018 to 4th November 2018, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan. Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Saitama had the highest number of reported cases in 2018.
The map shows the spatial distribution of rubella by subtype in 31 prefectures in Japan. About 30% (554/1884) of reported cases were included in the infectious agents surveillance. Different subtypes were identified, including 1a, 1E 2B and other subtypes, implying that transmission has occurred from multiple sources. The recent outbreak might have resulted from a low rubella vaccination coverage in the country. Vaccination is by far the most effective way to fight rubella.
The map data were obtained from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan.
地圖上顯示31個行政區的德國痲疹亞型個案的空間分佈。 大約三成(554/1884)的報告個案被包括在傳染病監測系統中。 樣本當中發現不同亞型，包括1a、1E、2B及其他類型，意味著多個傳播源頭。最近德國痲疹爆發可能與日本當地低德國痲疹疫苗覆蓋率有關。接種疫苗是預防感染德國痲疹最有效的方法。
What is rubella?
Rubella is a highly infectious disease caused by the rubella virus infection. The incubation period usually ranges from 12 to 23 days.
Infected persons initially present with cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing and cough. Other early symptoms include fever and rash. The rash usually lasts for about three days, but some patients may not have a rash. Infected adult women are more likely to experience arthralgia or arthritis. Infected pregnant women can affect the development of the fetus. An infant may develop congenital rubella syndrome if their mother was infected with rubella during the first three months of pregnancy.
How does it spread?
Rubella virus can be spread by droplets or direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected persons. An infected person can be infectious from one week before until one week after rash onset.
There is no specific treatment for rubella, but vaccination is an effective way to prevent infection. Rubella vaccines are commonly available as a combined vaccine with measles and mumps (MMR), and could be combined with varicella (MMRV). Children should follow the recommended schedule of local childhood immunization programme. Pregnant women should not be vaccinated because it affects the fetus. It is recommended to be vaccinated before pregnancy.