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Science / Medicine : U.S. German Measles Down to 551 in Year

October 19, 1987

The once-common childhood disease known as rubella or German measles continues to decline, with only 551 cases reported in the United States last year, the lowest count ever, federal health officials report.

The number of cases reported in 1986 was down 12% from 1985 and down 99% since the advent of rubella vaccine 18 years ago.

Elimination of rubella in the United States appears feasible with increased effort, the National Centers for Disease Control said.

Scientists' major concern in connection with rubella, a usually mild disease causing fever and rash, is the risk of congenital rubella syndrome, or CRS--the dangerous spread of rubella infection from mother to unborn child.

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