There is an ongoing rubella outbreak across Japan, with 1884 confirmed cases as of late November. The majority of the cases have been reported in the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama. According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, some municipal governments have started to offer free vaccinations. The US Centers for Disease Control raised its alert level for Japan to Level 2, the second highest of three levels, warning that pregnant women should not travel to the country unless protected against the disease through vaccination or previous infection.
Rubella is a contagious viral disease which is spread via airborne droplets emitted from the upper respiratory tract. Symptoms may include fever, sore throat and a rash on the face and body. Between 25 and 50 percent of people infected with rubella may not develop any symptoms.
Individuals in or planning to travel to Japan are advised to verify that their vaccination and any necessary booster shots are up to date and to take hygienic precautions.
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