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Rubella Virus 

Rubella Virus
Chapter:
Rubella Virus
Author(s):

Emmaculate Lebo

and Susan Reef

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190604813.003.0013
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date: 20 February 2020

Rubella infection in pregnant women, especially during the first trimester, can result in miscarriages, fetal deaths, stillbirths, or a constellation of congenital anomalies known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). Infants born with CRS often present with a myriad of classical symptoms, including hearing impairment, congenital heart defects, cataracts, and mental impairment. The risk of developing a congenital defect is highest when the rubella infection occurs during the first 12 weeks of gestation. The risks associated with fetal infection are primarily in pregnant women who are not immune to the rubella virus; immunity is acquired through vaccination with a rubella-containing vaccine or develops naturally following infection with rubella virus. In 2010, approximately 105,000 children with CRS were born globally, with an estimated 49,229 and 38,712 CRS cases born in the Southeast Asia and African WHO regions, respectively. Significant progress has been made toward reducing the burden of rubella and CRS cases globally through the introduction of rubella-containing vaccines in many countries.

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