CDC: Rubella eliminated in U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Rubella, a virus that once caused tens of thousands of birth defects and deaths in a single outbreak, has been eliminated from the United States, health officials said on Monday.

But Americans still must vaccinate their children, and women who might get pregnant must still ensure they are immune because the disease exists elsewhere, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
"During 1964 and 1965 a rubella epidemic in the United States caused an estimated 12.5 million cases of rubella and 20,000 cases of congenital rubella syndrome which led to more than 11,600 babies born deaf, 11,250 fetal deaths, 2,100 neonatal (newborn) deaths, 3,580 babies born blind and 1,800 babies born mentally retarded," the CDC said in a statement.

A vaccine was licensed in 1969 and since then the rubella virus has been included in the measles, mumps and rubella or MMR combined vaccine routinely given to babies and young children.

I remember getting the vaccine in grade school in 1969. All the kids in school lined up and went to the gymnasium for the shot. We all got a special metallic pin afterward.

No comments:

Post a Comment