Also known as German measles , the rubella is a viral disease or very common infectious disease during childhood, but can also occur in unvaccinated adults who have never had the disease as children. Typically, infections by these viruses produce permanent immunity, ie, it occurs only once in a lifetime.
Transmitted through the respiratory tract, rubella is caused by a RNA virus called Togavirus . Rubella epidemics usually occur in cycles 06-10 years in winter and spring period, mainly reaching school children up to 9 years and adolescents after vaccination.
Red spots that appear on the face and behind the ear and then spread throughout the body. After infection it takes on average 18 days to have the first symptoms (incubation period) the symptoms are similar to the flu: headache and testicles; pain when swallowing; aching joints and muscles, dry skin, nasal congestion with sneezing, swollen lymph ganglia, low-grade fever (up to 38 ° C), neck, red spots that start on the face and evolve quickly by the body (usually disappear in less than 5 days ), redness or inflammation of the eyes (which is not dangerous).
The infection is usually benign and in half the cases do not produce any clinical manifestation. However, becomes dangerous when infection occurs during pregnancy (congenital rubella ie, transmitted from mother to fetus) because the virus invades the placenta and infects the embryo, usually in the first three
weeks of gestation in this case, rubella can cause abortion, fetal death, premature birth and congenital malformations such as visual problems (cataracts and glaucoma), deafness, congenital heart disease, microcephaly with mental retardation among others. From the 5th month of pregnancy, the risk of fetal injury is virtually nil.
The infection occurs through the respiratory tract by direct contact with nasal secretions or air, through the suction droplets of saliva or nasal secretion.
The virus multiplies first and pharyngeal lymph organs. Then spreads through the blood and then manifests on the skin by means of reddish spots. The incubation period is two to three weeks, therefore symptoms are slow to be perceived.
Because of its similarity to other viruses (common cold, measles, dengue, etc) the accurate diagnosis of rubella can only be obtained by serological examination.
It is performed based on Antipyretics and analgesics that help lessen the discomfort, relieve headaches and body and lower fever. It is recommended that the patient rest during the critical period of the disease.
To decrease the circulation of rubella virus, vaccination is very important, recommended at 15 months of age (MMR vaccine) and for all adults who have not had the disease (blocking vaccination). It is important to know that the child is born with rubella can spread the virus for up to one year. So they must be away from other children and pregnant women who have not had the disease.
The rubella vaccine, effective in almost 100% of cases, should be administered in children at 15 months of life. The vaccine comprises live attenuated virus and can be produced in monovalent form, associated with measles (double viral) or measles and mumps (MMR). The disease is not serious and male children do not need to be vaccinated, but often it occurs to prevent epidemics or avoid risk, as adults, infecting his pregnant companion unvaccinated.
Pregnant women can not be vaccinated and vaccinated women should avoid pregnancy for one month after the date of vaccination. Thus, women who have not had the disease as children should be vaccinated before becoming pregnant. Patients with malignant disease, immune deficiency, treated with immunosuppressants, corticosteroids and chemotherapy can not be vaccinated.
Although it is believed that the effective control of this viral disease is possible, and even eradicate it with vaccination on a large scale, this disease as well as other viruses still represent a major public health aggravation in various parts of the world, especially in areas where combine precarious livelihoods and inadequate vaccination coverage.