An outbreak of rubella in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina between December 2009 and May 2010 indicates failure to vaccinate during wartime (1992-1995).
A rubella outbreak involving 1900 cases was recorded in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina between mid-December 2009 and the end of May 2010. Sera from 389 suspected rubella cases were examined for the presence of rubella-specific IgM and IgG antibodies. A total of 32 throat swabs from suspected rubella cases were tested by RT-PCR and were used to attempt virus isolation. Most patients (945/1900, 49.73%) had never received rubella vaccination or had an unknown vaccination status (563/1900, 29.63%). About 45% (178/389) of suspected rubella patients were IgM positive. From 13 of the throat swabs a virus isolate and E1 gene sequences attributed to genotype 2B were obtained. The rubella outbreak was due to failure to vaccinate during the war period (1992-1995) and emphasizes the need for additional vaccination opportunities.