Congenital rubella

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By Banu Anlar MD

Congenital rubella is also known as or subsumes Congenital German measles and Prenatal rubella. -ed.

Congenital rubella infection may cause a severe syndrome with visual, hearing, and neurologic disabilities, but also with more subtle findings that may lead to diagnostic delays. In this clinical article, Banu Anlar MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Pediatric Neurologist at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, emphasizes the effectiveness of a 2-dose vaccination in preventing the syndrome.

Key Points

  • Infection rates and risk of congenital rubella syndrome are highest during the first trimester of pregnancy and during primary infection of the pregnant mother.
  • The World Health Organization emphasizes rubella vaccination and supplementary immunization of all rubella-susceptible children, adolescents, and women of childbearing age.
  • Despite high vaccine coverage, rubella occurs in unimmunized groups, low seroconversion status, or reinfection.
  • Because the virus may persist for up to 1 year of age, pregnant women should not handle congenitally infected infants.