Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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In accordance with the goal of the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, the Italian national measles and rubella elimination plan aims to reduce the incidence of congenital rubella cases to?less than?one case per 100,000 live births by the end of 2015. We report national surveillance data for congenital rubella and rubella in pregnancy from 2005 to 2013. A total of 75 congenital rubella infections were reported; the national annual mean incidence was 1.5/100,000 live births, including probable and confirmed cases according to European Union case definition. Two peaks occurred in 2008 and 2012 (5.0 and 3.6/100,000 respectively). Overall, 160 rubella infections in pregnancy were reported; 69/148 women were multiparous and 38/126 had had a rubella antibody test before pregnancy. Among reported cases, there were 62 infected newborns, 31 voluntary abortions, one stillbirth and one spontaneous abortion. A total of 24 newborns were unclassified and 14 women were lost to follow-up, so underestimation is likely. To improve follow-up of cases, systematic procedures for monitoring infected mothers and children were introduced in 2013. To prevent congenital rubella, antibody screening before pregnancy and vaccination of susceptible women, including post-partum and post-abortum vaccination, should be promoted. Population coverage?of two doses of measles-mumps-rubella vaccination of ≥?95% should be maintained and knowledge of health professionals improved.


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