Rubella outbreak in Poland in 2013 – an analysis of surveillance data at the national and province level

Pol J Public Health 2015;125(2): 65-71


1 Department of Epidemiology, Chair of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
2 The member of Polish National Verification Committee for Measles and Rubella Elimination

DOI: 10.1515/pjph-2015-0026


Introduction. Poland is a member of the WHO European Region where a complete eradication of measles and rubella is planned to be finished by 2015. Poland accounted for 99% of all reported rubella cases in 27 EU/EEA countries in 2013. It is a good time to evaluate whether the established Polish vaccination strategy was sufficient to reach the goal of rubella elimination in the near future.
Aim. The aim of this study was to analyze the epidemiology of rubella in Poland when the disease outbreak took place
in 2013, to determine the reasons of that situation and to find the solution for future rubella elimination strategies.
Material and methods. To analyze the epidemiology of rubella in Poland during the disease outbreak in 2013 the authors used rubella surveillance data collected by the Provincial and National Notifiable Disease Reporting System in 2004-2013.
The information at the provincial level derived from one of the 16 provinces (Malopolska). The data on MMR vaccination coverage in 2003-2012 derived from the National Surveillance System. The percentages of rubella cases and vaccine coverage between Poland with Malopolska province were compared.
Results. The outbreak started in late 2012 and continued through 2013, when 38548 rubella cases (incidence rate 100.1/
100 000) were notified. Geographically, rubella cases were reported from the entire country, with the highest incidence rate
in Malopolska province (254.9/100 000). Only 5 cases from Malopolska and 120 in whole country were laboratory confirmed, the remaining 99.7% were reported solely on the basis of clinical signs. The vaccination coverage was not sufficient to protect the population against rubella outbreak in Poland, especially among adolescents and young adult males.
Conclusions. The strengthening of routine immunization program and implementation of some additional vaccination campaigns in young adults as well as laboratory confirmation of all suspected cases are the challenges that will have to be met to eliminate rubella in Poland.


rubella, epidemiological situation, Poland.


May 2019

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
    01 02 03 04 05
06 07 08 09 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31