Distribution and Incidence

Rubella has a global distribution. Although it is not a reportable disease in most countries, is under-reported in countries where it is a notifiable disease, and may be clinically inapparent in as many as 50 percent of infections, serologic surveillance demonstrates its existence throughout the world. In populated areas where rubella is both endemic and epidemic, between 80 and 90 percent of the adult population will show serologic evidence of prior infection. In remote or island populations where rubella is not endemic, a significant proportion of the population can be susceptible, which may lead to large outbreaks when the virus is introduced from the outside.

In some countries with extensive use of rubella vaccine and where rubella is a reportable disease, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, there have been impressive declines in reported cases of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome.

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