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German Measles / Rubella

German Measles / Rubella German measles (rubella) is an infection caused by a virus. Rubella infection in pregnant women is dangerous and can cause congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) in the baby.

Rubella  infection was once an important cause of congenital malformations and mental retardation in newborn babies and children in BC. The rubella vaccine has nearly eliminated rubella and CRS in British Columbia.

From 2002 to 2009 there were between zero to three rubella cases reported in BC annually.  In 2010, BC experienced the largest outbreak of rubella in over a decade with nine confirmed cases in BC residents. All of the cases in the 2010 outbreak were associated with a single workplace and the index case’s infection was compatible with acquisition during travel to the Philippines.  

There was one rubella case reported in BC in 2011.  The case was a woman in her late 30s whose infection was also compatible with acquisition during travel to the Philippines.  The woman was not pregnant at the time of infection and her vaccination status was unknown.  

There have not been any cases of congenital rubella syndrome in BC since a single case was reported in each of 2002 and 2004.

Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine 2-dose coverage at the second birthday has ranged from 74% to 76% in BC for the 2007 to 2010 birth cohorts.

For more information about cases of German Measles / Rubella in British Columbia see the most recent Annual Summary of Reportable Diseases.
Last Updated: October 1, 2014