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Euro Surveill. 2009 Apr 23;14(16). pii: 19184.

Ongoing rubella outbreak in Austria, 2008-2009.

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Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), Vienna, Austria.


Since October 2008, a total of 143 cases of rubella have affected the two Austrian provinces Styria and Burgenland. The index case occurred in mid-October 2008, but was not notified to the public health authorities until February 2009, when the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety was asked to investigate a cluster of 32 rubella cases (24 laboratory-confirmed and eight clinically suspected cases). No case of rubella had been reported in the two affected provinces between February 2007 - when statutory notification for rubella was implemented - and mid-October 2008. 113 of the 143 cases (79%) were confirmed: 101 (89.3% of the 113 cases) clinical-laboratory confirmed and 12 clinical-epidemiological confirmed. Thirty cases fulfilled the criteria of a probable outbreak case only (laboratory results or data on epidemiological link are pending). For 140 outbreak cases data on age was known; the median age was 19 years (range: 2-60 years). 20 cases occurred in soldiers in seven military camps in the area. 55 cases (38.5 %) were female. One case of a laboratory-confirmed rubella infection, affecting an unvaccinated pregnant 18-years old native Austrian in the early first trimenon of pregnancy, led to voluntary abortion.

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