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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
August 7, 2013

Rubella Cases Soar in Japan

JAMA. 2013;310(5):471. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.16884

As goals to eliminate rubella are being set worldwide, Japan’s incidence rates and case numbers are headed in the wrong direction, according to a report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In the World Health Organization’s Western Pacific Region, the goal is to decrease rubella incidence in the region to fewer than 10 cases per million population by 2015. But since 2010, Japan’s incidence rate has increased from 0.7 cases per million population to 18.7 cases per million in 2012. By May of this year, incidence increased again, to 42.5 cases per million population. During the first 4 months of this year, Japan’s surveillance system reported 5442 rubella cases. In comparison, 2392 cases were reported last year, 378 in 2011, and 87 in 2010.