[Rubella in Poland in 2010]

Ewa Karasek, Iwona Paradowska-Stankiewicz
Przegla̧d Epidemiologiczny 2012, 66 (2): 197-203

INTRODUCTION: Rubella is the disease subject to the elimination programme coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO). Generally, rubella is an infection of mild course among children but in the case of pregnant women, who are not immunized, it may contribute to the occurrence of severe congenital abnormalities (congenital rubella syndrome) may amount to 95%. The strategy of the countries belonging to the WHO European Region is directed to the interruption of the rubella virus transmission in the environment in order to prevent the cases of congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).

OBJECTIVES: The aims of the present article are to analyze the epidemiological situation of rubella in Poland in 2010 and to discuss the rubella vaccination coverage.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: [corrected] The epidemiological situation of rubella in Poland was analyzed on the basis of publications: "Infectious diseases and poisonings in Poland in 2010" (Czarkowski MP et al. Warsaw 2011, NIPH-NIH and "Vaccinations in Poland in 2010". The classification of the rubella cases is based on the definition of the infectious diseases developed by the Department of Epidemiology (NIPH - NIH): "Definitions of the cases of infectious diseases for the purposes of the epidemiological surveillance".

RESULTS: Comparing the epidemiological situation in 2009 and 2010, in 2010 a decline in the incidence of rubella was observed--from 19.0 per 100 000 population to 11.0 per 100 000 population. Overall, 4 197 cases of rubella were reported. While analyzing the definition of the rubella case for the purposes of the epidemiological surveillance, none of the cases was reported as the confirmed case, 29 (0.7%) were classified as the probable and the remaining cases were classified only on the basis of clinical criteria. In 2010, one congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) was registered. The rubella incidence among girls and women (9.0) was lower than the incidence observed among boys and men (13.1). The highest incidence--regardless of the gender and surroundings--was reported in children aged 7 years old (96.4 per 100 000) and 8 years old (93.1). The percentage of the 13-year-old girls vaccinated against rubella amounted to 99.2%.

CONCLUSIONS: The epidemiological situation of rubella in 2010 in comparison with the situation in 2009, has improved. However, the concern is raised by the low percentage of the laboratory tests aiming at confirmation or exclusion of the rubella. The decline in the number of rubella cases is the consequence of the sustained high vaccination coverage among children. Theoretically, the high rubella vaccination coverage among the girls significantly decreases the probability of congenital rubella syndrome occurrence. On the other hand, the higher incidence of rubella among men who have the contact with the women in the reproductive age poses the risk of infecting the pregnant women who are not immunized.

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