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Small rise in rubella cases triggers warning

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2935 (Published 07 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2935
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Last year saw the highest number of rubella cases in England and Wales since 1999. Although numbers are still small there is some concern that the disease could start to circulate more widely.

Health Protection Agency figures show that there were 65 laboratory confirmed cases of rubella in England and Wales in 2012,1 up from six confirmed cases in 2011, 12 in 2010, and nine in 2009. Fifty of the 65 cases in 2012 were reported from the south east of England, with most cases among recent immigrants. Data for 2013 are not yet available. The last large outbreak of rubella was in 1996, when close to 4000 cases were reported in England and Wales.

Pat Tookey, who leads the national congenital rubella surveillance programme at University College London’s Institute for Child Health, told the BMJ that the current outbreaks of measles in England and Wales …

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