[Caution] Endemic of measles and rubella in Japan
Since 2018 late-April, measles has been remaining highly endemic in Japan. Moreover, starting from this year, rubella has been spreading over the country. According to an emergency announcement of National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 528 people became infected in the first seven weeks of 2019. Due to the situation, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan revised the Ministerial Ordinance on Immunization Law and provided temporary inoculation of rubella-containing vaccine to adult male who did not infect by rubella or have a vaccination history.
For Hong Kong residents who plan to visit Japan during spring holiday, we recommend you to have vaccination before departure.
What is measles?
It is an infection disease which caused by infection of measles virus. After 10 days of measles infection, symptoms like fever, cough, runny nose would occur. In addition, fever would continue for several days, and rashes might occur for patients who have high fever of 39 Degree Celsius or above. Measles may also lead to complications of pneumonia and otitis media, there is also possibilities to develop encephalitis at a rate of 0.1% (1 in 1000 people).
What is rubella?
It is an infection disease caused by rubella virus and its main infection routes are droplet and contact infection. The main symptoms of rubella are high fever (38 Degree Celsius or above), rash and swollen lymph nodes.
In Japan, there were large-scale endemic every five to six years from the late 1970s to the early 1990s (1976, 1982, 1987 and 1992). Although infants became eligible for periodic inoculation after the endemics in the past decades and the situation of national wide endemic was eventually under controlled, in recent, there are still 40000 estimated patients in 2004 and 10 congenital rubella syndromes have been reported.
If you wish to have pregnancy, we recommend you to vaccinate in advance as vaccinate after pregnancy is prohibited.
Please refer the hyperlink below for further information on measles and rubella vaccinations:
〇Osaka Institute of Public Health (Japanese)
〇National Institute of Infectious Diseases
Please contact us if you have any quiries, we would be more than happy to assist you.