The World Health Organization (WHO) declares that rubella has been eradicated from the Americas.
On January 22, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization declared and certified Colombia free of rubella and became the first Latin American country to eliminate the disease within its borders. On April 29, 2015, the Americas became the first WHO region to officially eradicate the disease. The last non-imported cases occurred in 2009 in Argentina and Brazil. Pan-American Health Organization director remarked "The fight against rubella has taken more than 15 years, but it has paid off with what I believe will be one of the most important pan-American public health achievements of the 21st Century." The declaration was made after 165 million health records and genetically confirming that all recent cases were caused by known imported strains of the virus. Rubella is still common in some regions of the world and Susan E. Reef, team lead for rubella at the C.D.C.â€™s global immunization division, who joined in the announcement, said there was no chance it would be eradicated worldwide before 2020. Rubella is the third disease to be eliminated from the western hemisphere with vaccination after smallpox and polio.