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Recommended Surveillance Measures

Testing of rubella in suspected cases for measles:
  • Blood samples from all rubella suspected cases that are IgM negative for rubella should be tested for measles within 24 hours.

  • In the case of laboratory-confirmed rubella (or dengue) outbreaks, the total number of samples that are negative for either rubella (or dengue) might be overwhelming. In such a case, the surveillance team, in conjunction with the laboratory, should decide which samples to test for measles.
Investigation and reporting:
  • The reporting system must cover health facilities, private practitioners, hospitals and laboratories and have at least one reporting source for every geopolitical unit;
  • Written material should be provided to all health personnel describing their responsibilities and how to report cases, collect samples and send them for laboratory confirmation;
  • Investigation of all suspected cases should take place within 48 hours of rash onset. It should include:
    • Filling the case report form,
    • Investigation of contacts of the suspected case to determine if other cases have occurred,
    • Taking blood samples and samples for viral isolation (usually urine) from all sporadic cases and from 5-10 cases from each outbreak.
  • Weekly reporting of data, even in the absence of cases, is critical;
  • Timely feedback to all participants of the surveillance system, keeping them informed of where and when cases are occurring, is essential;
  • The reporting system must be monitored monthly using the surveillance indicators;
  • Cooperation from the private medical community by reporting suspected cases to the system is essential for all surveillance efforts.

    Last Updated on Friday, 09 April 2010 09:46

NIM Rubella Publications

  • Rubella Timeline Cron
  • adhoc meeting

    Ad-hoc Meeting of Experts to Establish Best Practices in CRS Surveillance.

  • Vaccination Campaing 2007-2008

    Vaccination Campaigns Programmed for Rubella and Measles Elimination in the Americas 2007-2008.

  • Progress Report Rubella

    Adult Vaccination Campaigns for Rubella Elimination, The Americas, 1998–2007.

  • Rubella Case Definition

    Case definition: Rubella

    Adapted from Epidemiological Bulletin, Vol. 20 No. 3, September 1999
    • Rationale for Surveillance
    • Recommended Case Definitions
    • Recommended Surveillance Measures
    • Recommended Minimum Data Elements
    • Principal Use of Data for Decision-Making
    • Main Surveillance Indicators

    Rationale for Surveillance


    Rubella virus continues to circulate freely in most countries of the region. After a complete investigation, many suspected measles cases are ultimately found to be rubella. Moreover, cases of the Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) have been found in all countries of the Region that have established CRS surveillance systems. This suggests that CRS is a major public health problem in all countries of the Americas.

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