Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS)

Description: Rubella is an infection caused by a virus. Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) is an important cause of severe birth defects. When a woman is infected with the rubella virus early in pregnancy, she has a 90% chance of passing the virus on to her fetus. This can cause the death of the fetus, or it may cause CRS. Even though it is a mild childhood illness CRS causes many birth defects. Deafness is the most common, but CRS can also cause defects in the eyes, heart, and brain. Rubella is spread in airborne droplets when infected people sneeze or cough. Once a person is infected, the virus spreads throughout the body in about five to seven days. During this time, pregnant women may pass the virus on to their fetuses.

Prevention: Live attenuated viral rubella vaccine - one dose given by the intramuscular or subcutaneous route as monovalent, MR or MMR.

Statistics on Rubella

Last Update: 25 August 2017