Could the United States experience rubella outbreaks as a result of vaccine refusal and disease importation?

 Abstract

Prenatal rubella infection early in gestation is likely to damage the fetus, leading to miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, or congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). CRS is a devastating syndrome that encompasses a wide variety of disorders, including (but certainly not limited to) cataracts, congenital heart defects, deafness, and mental retardation. Elimination of rubella was declared in the United States in 2004; however, the US faces the risk of rubella outbreaks. In this article, we discuss the possibility of rubella outbreaks in the US due to refusal of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination and importation of the disease from regions where vaccination coverage is suboptimal. To avoid the severe health consequences associated with prenatal rubella infection, continued attention should be given to the maintenance of high MMR coverage.

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Pages
1016 - 1020
doi
10.4161/hv.6.12.13398
Type
Review
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Could the United States experience rubella outbreaks as a result of vaccine refusal and disease importation?