Rubella cases in Japan closely monitoredPrint

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring an increase in the number of rubella (also known as “German Measles”) cases in Japan and appealed to the travellers and members of the public for vigilance and reiterated that vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the disease.

Please access the links below for the details of the press release:
English version:
Chinese version:

Immunisation against rubella is the most effective way to prevent the disease. As rubella-containing vaccine is contraindicated in pregnant women, all pregnant women and women preparing for pregnancy who are non-immune to rubella should not travel to Japan during the outbreak period.

For those without rubella vaccination, with unknown vaccination history or unknown immunity against rubella, they are advised to consult their doctor for advice on vaccination. As it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop and provide protection against rubella, non-immune travellers are advised to plan and get vaccinated ahead (except pregnant women and women preparing for pregnancy).

Local children aged under one year are not due for the vaccination under Hong Kong Childhood Immunisation Programme. As they are susceptible to rubella, they are advised not to travel to Japan during the outbreak. If people must travel to Japan with children under one year during the outbreak period, they have to consult their doctor for advice.

Rubella infection is a highly infectious disease caused by the rubella virus. It can be transmitted by contact with secretions from nose and throat of infected persons through droplet spread or direct contact with patients. The patient can pass the disease to other persons from one week before to one week after onset of rash. Rubella infection during pregnancy can result in abnormal development of the fetus, especially during the first trimester.

Besides being vaccinated against rubella, to prevent rubella members of the public are advised to:

* Maintain good personal and environmental hygiene;
* Maintain good indoor ventilation;
* Keep hands clean and wash hands properly;
* Wash hands when they are dirtied by respiratory secretions, e.g. after sneezing; and
* Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and dispose of nasal and mouth discharge properly.

For more information on rubella, the public may visit the CHP’s rubella page ( They can also visit the Travel Health Service’s website ( for the latest travel health advice.

Department of Health

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