13 Oct 2003

SPC issues warning over further possible Rubella outbreaks

9:31 am on 13 October 2003

Pacific Island countries have been put on a state of heightened awareness following an outbreak of Rubella in Micronesia and Polynesia.

Fiji's Daily Post newspaper reports that the warning has been issued by the Pacific Community's health division in Noumea.

The SPC's public health programme manager, Dr Mark Jacobs, says the disease is a highly contagious virus and all it would take is for someone to arrive in a country and rubella would spread like wildfire.

Dr Jacobs says those most vulnerable are people who have not had the disease before, especially young children, and pregnant women because of its effects on the unborn.