Congenital Rubella Syndrome

Between 1964 and 1965, there was a worldwide epidemic of rubella, also known as German measles. Pregnant women who contracted rubella in the first trimester of their pregnancy could pass the rubella virus to their developing fetus, causing the child to be born deaf, blind, with cardiac problems, developmental delays and other medical conditions. In the United States alone, approximately 20,000 children were born during this epidemic with two or more of these symptoms. This constellation of symptoms is known as congenital rubella syndrome, or CRS.

HKNC is one of a handful of agencies worldwide that collects and disseminates information about this low incidence population.

In March 2005, we hosted an international symposium on congenital rubella. As a result of this symposium, an application was made to Deafblind International to create a Rubella Network. This application was approved in July 2006, and in September 2007, the first Rubella Network meeting was held in Perth, Australia. The network continues to be a source of information about rubella, vaccinations and CRS.

For more information on CRS, visit:

Congenital Rubella Facebook page

The DBI Rubella Network

CDC Overview of Rubella