New Delhi: The union health ministry has decided to introduce a combination vaccine that will protect children against both measles and Rubella in its national immunization programme. The combination vaccine will be rolled out from June. Both pregnant women and children will be vaccinated with it.
Most cases of Rubella get wrongly labelled as measles because both the diseases have similar symptoms and manifestations. The ministry estimates that around 30,000 abnormal children are being born annually because of Rubella. Many experts, however, say the accurate figure would be around two lakh babies.
Rubella, also known as German Measles, is a contagious viral disease that infects pregnant women and leads to babies being born with cardiac, cerebral, ophthalmic and auditory defects. Miscarriages are also common among women who get Rubella in the first three months of pregnancy. [Source: ToI]