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Explained: What is Rubella? The disease 'detected' in India's wheat consignment to Turkey

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Rubella, also known as German measles, is a viral infection that causes a rash and other symptoms. There is no specific treatment for rubella but the disease is preventable by vaccination.

New Delhi, June 03: In a recent report, Turkey has rejected an Indian wheat consignment over phytosanitary concerns, prompting a ship to initiate its return journey on May 29, 2022. The MV Ince Akdeniz loaded with 56,877 tonnes of durum wheat is now returning back to Kandala port in Gujarat from Turkey, according to an update by S&P Global Community Insights.

Explained: What is Rubella disease?

"The wheat consignment was detected with Indian Rubella disease and was rejected by the Turkish ministry of agriculture and forestry," a trader based in Istanbul told S&P.

The vessel will return to Kandla by mid-June, the trader added.

How Turkey's allegations likely to affect India

Turkey's decision comes at a time when international buyers have been looking to secure supplies of wheat. According to the S&P report, this has made exporters anxious about the future of other wheat shipments headed to different nations, including to Egypt in the next few days.

Following the rejection over Rubella disease concerns, the demand for Indian wheat may be affected internationally. This could trigger the prices of wheat to reduce in the country and abroad.

What is Rubella disease in humans?

Rubella is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Most people who get rubella usually have a mild illness, with symptoms that can include a low-grade fever, sore throat, and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Rubella can cause a miscarriage or serious birth defects in a developing baby if a woman is infected while she is pregnant. The best protection against rubella is MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine.

Is rubella airborne?

Rubella spreads through the air through coughing or sneezing. A person with the virus can transmit

  • 1 week before a rash develops
    1 week after symptoms first appear


In children, the disease is usually mild, with symptoms including a rash, low fever (

Once a person is infected, the virus spreads throughout the body in about 5-7 days. Symptoms usually appear 2 to 3 weeks after exposure. The most infectious period is usually 1-5 days after the appearance of the rash.

When a woman is infected with the rubella virus early in pregnancy, she has a 90% chance of passing the virus on to her fetus. This can cause the death of the fetus, or it may cause CRS. Infants with CRS may excrete the virus for a year or more.


The rubella vaccine is a live attenuated strain, and a single dose gives more than 95% long-lasting immunity, which is similar to that induced by natural infection.

Rubella vaccines are available either in monovalent formulation (a vaccine directed at only one pathogen) or more commonly in combinations with other vaccines such as with vaccines against measles (MR), measles and mumps (MMR), or measles, mumps and varicella (MMRV).

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