Rubella Is No Longer a Threat to Your Kids, Thanks to Vaccines

mmr vaccine

If your kids have gotten the MMR vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella, pat yourself on the back! Rubella, a.k.a. German Measles, has been declared "eliminated" from the Americas, largely due to the vaccine.


By "eliminated," that means that no one within these continents has passed this disease to someone else in the past five years. And that's good news, because while rubella is relatively mild in kids and adults, it can have devastating consequences when a pregnant woman catches it, resulting in miscarriage and birth defects.

And history bears this out: During a rubella outbreak in 1964-65, 11,000 fetuses miscarried, died in the womb or were aborted; 20,000 were born with birth defects.

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So, to eliminate this threat is a huge triumph and yet more evidence that vaccines are good for kids. And in this case, it shows that vaccines are also good for children before they're born, inside the womb!

Still, though, this doesn't mean we're home free, or that we should stop getting the rubella vaccine. Rubella still exists in other parts of the world, and could be brought back in, particularly now that the anti-vax movement is poking holes in our herd immunity.

Case in point: While measles was never officially declared eradicated in the U.S., many doctors said we were pretty much there ... until it cropped up again in Disney Land and spread from there. I truly hope the same thing doesn't happen with rubella.

Do you think rubella is gone from this country for good?


Image via Sherry Yates Young/shutterstock

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