Rubella in Japan

Updated: May 10, 2019


Original publication date: December 7, 2018

Current situation

Japan is experiencing an outbreak of rubella. The highest number of cases have been reported in Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Osaka prefectures.

Rubella and pregnancy

If a pregnant woman catches rubella, it can cause serious health complications for her unborn baby. The rubella vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women.

Pregnant women should discuss travel plans with their health care professional to ensure they are protected before travelling. Pregnant women who are not protected against rubella either through vaccination or previous rubella infection should avoid travelling to Japan during this outbreak. This is especially important during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

About rubella

Rubella is a highly contagious disease caused by the rubella virus. It most often affects children.

Rubella can be spread from an infected person to other people in different ways, including:

Some people infected with rubella will not show any symptoms. For others, symptoms of rubella are often mild and may include:

Travellers are at an increased risk of rubella infection if they:


Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel.

1) Get vaccinated for rubella

Rubella can be prevented with a vaccine. In Canada, the rubella vaccine is part of the routine immunization schedule. Travellers should make sure their rubella vaccination is up-to-date, regardless of their travel destination.

2) Avoid travel for non-immune pregnant women

3) Monitor your health

Registration of Canadians Abroad

Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or an emergency at home.

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