The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made an official advisory that pregnant women should avoid traveling to Japan at this time.
The reported Rubella cases this year in Japan have multiplied by 10 compared to previous years. The outbreak in Japan is cause for concern and the CDC is on high alert. The disease usually mostly affects children and the symptoms are very mild. However, if pregnant women get infected it becomes very serious.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised pregnant women to avoid traveling to Japan during this record-breaking outbreak. Rubella is extremely dangerous, especially for pregnant women.
Rubella is especially dangerous for pregnant women and their developing baby. If pregnant women are not protected through the vaccinations or immune from the previous infection, then they should avoid traveling to Japan at this time. The CDC warning is for everybody who has not received the vaccinations, but they are specifically concerned for pregnant women due to the dangers that can occur for the unborn child. If a woman contracts the Rubella infection during early pregnancy she can have serious consequences for her baby such as miscarriage, stillbirth, and severe birth defects (congenital rubella syndrome).
Although there is no scientific proof as to why this outbreak has occurred, researchers predict that it is due to the vaccination gap that occurred from 1976 to 1989 and 1993 to 2006. During these gaps, men were not given the vaccinations. Only women were receiving the vaccinations because the infection doesn't typically affect grown men. As a result, the ability to be protected by herd immunity decreased immensely. Many companies in Japan are now trying to help the Rubella epidemic by offering free vaccinations to their employees. However, that doesn't help with the people who have already contracted the disease. Pregnant women need to be aware of the advisory that has been issued and to avoid traveling to Japan especially if they do not have the vaccination to protect them from the disease.