The rubella virus is highly contagious, but its spread is preventable with safe and cost-effective vaccines. Initial symptoms among children include fever and rash.
Also known as German measles, rubella is particularly serious for pregnant women, as infection can lead to miscarriage or birth defects, including blindness, deafness and heart disease.
According to local media, Brunei was declared free of measles in 2015. WHO’s latest announcement brought the total number of rubella-free countries and areas within the Western Pacific region to five.