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Recommended Minimum Data Elements

Case-based data (to be linked using the unique identifier to specimen-based data for analysis): (I) unique identifier; (II) geographical area (district and province); (III) name; date of birth (IV); (V) date of rash onset; (VI) date of notification; (VII) date of case investigation; (VIII) date of specimen collection; (IX) date when specimens were sent to the laboratory; (X) number of doses of measles-containing vaccine received; (XI) date of last doses of measles-containing vaccine; (XII) if source of infection was identified; (XIII) results of serology; (XIV) results of viral isolation; (XV) final classification; (XVI) name of investigator.

Specimen-based data (to be linked to case-based data for analysis): (I) unique identifier (MESS number when available); (II) specimen number; (III) date of rash onset; (IV) date of blood (or urine, nasopharyngeal secretion) specimen collection; (V) date specimen sent to laboratory; (VI) date specimen received in laboratory (VII) results of serology; (VIII) results of viral isolation.

Principal Uses of Data for Decision Making

  • Track rubella virus circulation (in an eradication process, one case must be considered as an outbreak);
  • Detect and investigate outbreaks to ensure proper case management and determine reasons for its occurrence;
  • Monitor routine coverage for immunizations in all municipalities and focus efforts in high-risk municipalities (those where vaccination coverage is lower than 95%) for planning mopping up and other immunization activities;
  • Identify when next follow-up campaign is due;
  • Monitor performance of surveillance using standard indicators and strengthen surveillance in low performing areas.

Main Surveillance Indicators

  • % of reporting sites that report each week;
  • % of reported suspected cases investigated within 48 hours of rash onset;
  • % of suspected cases with complete report form;
  • % of suspected cases with blood specimen collected within 30 days of rash onset (nonetheless, when outbreaks occur, cases epidemiologically linked to laboratory-confirmed case are confirmed without needing blood specimens);
  • % of blood specimens for which results were received within 7 days of receipt of the sample by the laboratory. 

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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