An infection once feared by pregnant women has been eliminated in Australia thanks to a vaccine that has been a fixture of childhood vaccinations for almost three decades.
The World Health Organisation on Wednesday declared that rubella, also known as German measles, had been eliminated in Australia, according to its official threshold, reports SMH.
Nationally there have been just eight reported cases so far this year (including two in Victoria and one in NSW) and they were most likely as a result of people bringing in the illness from overseas.
“The science is in and the medical experts’ advice is absolute – vaccinations save lives and protect lives,” said Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.
In the past, rubella has caused all sorts of pregnancy complications including blindness, deafness and stillbirth.
The recommendation to vaccinate continues with measles and rubella remaining an endemic in many countries, Australians need to remain vigilant and kept their vaccines up to date.
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