Rubella in Austria 2008-2009: no longer a typical childhood disease.
ABSTRACT In February 2009, a cluster of rubella cases was recognized in Austria occurring between calendar weeks 3 and 7, 2009 after a long period of low rubella virus activity. A nationwide 2-dose measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination program had been introduced in 1994 to prevent this childhood illness.
An epidemiologic investigation was conducted to describe the cluster by time, place, and person. A confirmed outbreak case was defined as a febrile person (1) with generalized rash, which was laboratory confirmed or epidemiologically linked to a laboratory confirmed case and (2) who became ill after October 1, 2008 in the 2 affected provinces. A probable outbreak case was defined as any person meeting the clinical criteria of rubella and meeting the criterion 2 of a confirmed outbreak case. All cases were telephone interviewed on demographics and vaccination status.
A total of 355 outbreak cases (including 247 confirmed cases) occurred in 2 neighboring Austrian provinces from mid-October 2008 until the end of June 2009, peaking in mid-March. The 2 most-affected age groups were 15 to 19 (44.4%) and 20 to 24 year olds (32.4%). The vaccination status was available for 230 cases; 10% of cases had received 1 measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine dose. No case had received 2 doses. Of the 146 female cases, one laboratory-confirmed rubella infection in a pregnant 18-year-old native Austrian resulted in elective abortion.
These findings underline the waning epidemiologic role of children in maintaining the circulation of rubella virus and indicate that additional vaccination activities targeting >15 year olds are needed to achieve the 2010 WHO target for rubella elimination in the European Region.
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ABSTRACT: Childhood vaccination has reduced rubella disease to low levels in the United States, but outbreaks continue to occur. The largest outbreak in the past 5 years occurred in Nebraska in 1999. To examine risk factors for disease, susceptibility of the risk population, role of vaccine failure, and the need for new vaccination strategies in response to the Nebraska rubella outbreak. Investigation of 83 confirmed rubella cases occurring in Douglas County, Nebraska, between March 23 and August 24, 1999; serosurvey of 413 pregnant women in the outbreak locale between October 1998 and March 1999 (prior to outbreak) and April and November 1999 (during and after outbreak). Case characteristics, compared with that of the general county population; area childhood rubella vaccination rates; and susceptibility among pregnant women before vs during and after the outbreak. All 83 rubella cases were unvaccinated or had unknown vaccination status and fell into 3 groups: (1) 52 (63%) were young adults (median age, 26 years), 83% of whom were born in Latin American countries where rubella vaccination was not routine. They were either employed in meatpacking plants or were their household contacts. Attack rates in the plants were high (14.4 per 1000 vs 0. 19 per 1000 for general county population); (2) 16 (19%), including 14 children (9 of whom were aged <12 months) and 2 parents, were US-born and non-Hispanic, who acquired the disease through contacts at 2 day care facilities (attack rate, 88.1 per 1000); and (3) 15 (18%) were young adults (median age, 22 years) whose major disease risk was residence in population-dense census tracts where meatpacking-related cases resided (R(2) = 0.343; P<.001); 87% of these persons were born in Latin America. Among pregnant women, susceptibility rates were 13% before the outbreak and 11% during and after the outbreak. Six (25%) of 24 susceptible women tested were seropositive for rubella IgM. Rubella vaccination rates were 90.2% for preschool children and 99.8% for school-aged children. A large rubella outbreak occurred among unvaccinated persons in a community with high immunity levels. Crowded working and living conditions facilitated transmission, but vaccine failure did not. Workplace vaccination could be considered to prevent similar outbreaks. JAMA. 2000;284:2733-2739.JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 12/2000; 284(21):2733-9. · 29.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Over a thousand women with confirmed rubella infection at different stages of pregnancy were followed up prospectively. Two-thirds of the women were multiparous. Pregnancy continued in 40%, and the infants were followed up after birth both clinically and serologically. The frequency of congenital infection after maternal rubella with a rash was more than 80% during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, 54% at 13-14 weeks, and 25% at the end of the second trimester. The infection rate then rose again to reach a high figure in the last month. Follow-up was to 2 years of age--the findings in infected children being compared with those in children who had escaped infection. Rubella defects occurred in all infants infected before the 11th week (principally congenital heart disease and deafness) and in 35% of those infected at 13-16 weeks (deafness alone). No defects attributable to rubella were found in 63 children infected after 16 weeks. Continued surveillance of cases of confirmed rubella during pregnancy is recommended as an additional way of monitoring the effect of rubella vaccination.The Lancet 11/1982; 2(8302):781-4. · 39.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This paper uses relatively simple and deterministic mathematical models to examine the impact that different immunization policies have on the age-specific incidence of rubella and measles. Following earlier work by Knox (1980) and others, we show that immunization programmes can, under some circumstances, increase the total number of cases among older age groups; the implications for the overall incidence of measles encephalitis and of congenital rubella syndrome are examined, paying attention both to the eventual equilibrium and to the short-term effect in the first few decades after immunization is initiated. Throughout, we use data (from the U.K., and U.S.A. and other countries) both in the estimation of the epidemiological parameters in our models, and in comparison between theoretical predictions and observed facts. The conclusions defy brief summary and are set out at the end of the paper.Journal of Hygiene 05/1983; 90(2):259-325.