• Kyodo

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More than 1,100 rubella cases have been reported this year in Japan, raising concern about serious health impacts on unborn babies who could be infected with the disease by their mothers during pregnancy, a national institute said Tuesday.

The 1,103 cases reported this year through Oct. 7 represent an increase of 135 from the previous week and around a twelvefold jump from the previous year, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. The disease is spreading, particularly in the capital region, with 45 — the largest group of the 135 cases — reported in Tokyo, followed by 21 and 20 reported in Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures, respectively.

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