Australia gets rid of Rubella

October 31, 2018

Rubella has officially been eradicated in Australia.

The WHO confirmed on Wednesday that the contagious disease that can cause pregnant women to miscarry or result in serious birth defects or stillbirth, also known as German measles, no longer exists in the nation.

The symptoms, including fever, rash and swollen lymph glands are mild but the consequences can be severe.When contracted by women during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, it can cause miscarriages, stillbirth or life-long problems for their babies including: deafness, vision problems, inflammation of the brain, heart defects, liver disease, bone disease and growth retardation.

“The science is in and the medical experts’ advice is absolute – vaccinations save lives and protect lives and they are an essential part of a healthy society,” said Health Minister Greg Hunt.

Australia’s national immunisation program provides government-subsidised jabs, as well as free rubella vaccinations for children aged 12 months, as well as a booster at 18 months.Official figures show that more Australian five-year-olds are fully immunised than ever before.

“I commend the efforts of Australia’s health professionals over the decades and the millions of parents who ensure their children are always vaccinated,” Hunt said.

Australia also has constantly monitors to detect and respond to rubella cases.There have been national rubella epidemics, most notable in 1958, 1963, and the early 1990s.

 

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