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January 18, 1971

Neuritis and Arthritis Following Rubella Immunization

Author Affiliations

Berkeley, Calif

JAMA. 1971;215(3):485-486. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180160081030

To the Editor.—  In a letter to The Journal (213:2272, 1970) Speier commented on seeing apparent neuritis, not arthritis, in children immunized with rubella vaccine. As he points out, arthritis is now widely recognized as a complication, but what about neuritis?A review of the literature reveals that peripheral neuritis has been reported with and following natural rubella, especially in Great Britain, as far back as 1940.1,2 We recently had the opportunity of documenting the extent of post-rubella-vaccine reactions after a large immunization campaign3 and we too were struck by the extent (7.2%) of arthritis or the sensory effects of a peripheral neuritis (paresthesia) or both. Of 23 children examined because of reported reactions, 18 had no objective findings whatsoever. Paresthesia was a prominent complaint however, and frequently the chief complaint. Paresthesia and its peculiar diurnal pattern were similarly noted by Cooper et al4 in one