Challenges in managing cataract from Congenital Rubella Syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic

Roland Joseph D. Tan, Lendell de Leon


Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) cases being seen in a tertiary hospital in Baguio rose in 2020 during the
COVID-19 pandemic. Its communicability presented logistical challenges to the hospital as additional contact
and droplet precautions, including COVID-19 RT-PCR testing, were needed to be observed to prevent rubella
transmission. The operations of the institute have also been disrupted and compromised since its space and
resources were diverted to the pandemic response. A probable rubella transmission occurred when a patient
with CRS was admitted for cataract surgery but was delayed due to the COVID-19 RT-PCR test requirement.
Another patient admitted from the Outpatient Department on the same day developed maculopapular
rashes for three days during admission but with no febrile episodes and lymphadenopathy. These cases
showed how managing CRS cataracts got complicated by the current COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in
the review and proposal to revise current hospital policies to minimize the exposure of vulnerable individuals
and prevent future transmission.



congenital rubella syndrome; cataract; communicability; COVID-19; policies

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Print ISSN: 2704-3517; Online ISSN: 2738-042X