What is rubella?

What is rubella?


Rubella, also known as German measles, is a contagious disease caused by virus and characterized by red skin rash.


Rubella is caused by viruses and Rubella virus is spread from person to person through sneezing, coughing and is highly contagious. A person with rubella can transmit the disease to other people from one week before the eruption until one to two weeks after their disappearance. That is, a person can transmit the disease even before knowing who has rubella.
The disease can also be congenital and can be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy yet.

Risk factors

  • Have close contact with a person infected with rubella is a major risk factor for infection
  • Do not take the MMR vaccine , which also acts against measles and mumps , can make a person vulnerable to the virus that causes rubella
  • Newborns tend to be the age group most at risk, since they were not vaccinated against the disease. The adults, on the other hand, are not free of rubella only because they were vaccinated. It may happen that the vaccine lose effectiveness and fail to protect the person completely, so it is advisable to take a booster vaccine a few years after the first dose.


Symptoms of rubella


The main symptoms are usually mild rubella and difficult to be noticed, especially in children. When they arise, the signs of the disease usually takes two to three weeks after exposure to the virus to manifest and last for an average of two to three days. Chief among them is the emergence of red rashes from the skin, which first appear on the face and then go spreading around the trunk, arms and legs.Among other symptoms of rubella include:
  • Mild fever
  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Inflammation of the eyes (bloodshot)
  • Appearance of lumps in the neck region and behind the ears
  • General discomfort and feeling of malaise constant
  • Muscle and joint pain 
  • Seeking medical help

  • Seek medical advice if you or your child present the typical symptoms of rubella.
    If you have plans to get pregnant, see a doctor to find out about the vaccine against rubella. Contracting the disease during the first trimester of pregnancycan cause serious risks to the baby's health and may even lead to malformation of organs and termination of pregnancy. Rubella during pregnancy is the main cause of deafness congenital.

    In the medical consultation

    Take all of your questions to the doctor and describe your symptoms in detail. This will help the doctor to diagnose correctly. Also answer questions that he might do to her. Some examples:
    • You and your child received the MMR vaccine?
    • When symptoms began?
    • You had contact with someone with rubella?
    • Is there any measure that you have taken that seems to have improved or worsened the symptoms?

    Diagnostic Rubella

    The skin rashes caused by rubella resemble any other rash caused by diseases similar, so not just a physical examination to confirm the diagnosis. The doctor then will ask for laboratory tests to make sure that it is a rubella infection.
    A nasal or throat swab can be sent for culture. It can also be made a blood test to check whether the person is protected against rubella. All women who could become pregnant should take this test. If the test is negative, they will receive the vaccine.

    Treatment Rubella

    There is no treatment available to stop the rubella infection, but the symptoms are so mild that treatment is not usually necessary. However, to avoid passing the virus to others that eventually were not vaccinated or are needed to take the reinforcement of the vaccine, patients should remain indoors during the high likelihood of transmission.
    If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about the best way to fight infection and prevent the baby from being infected too. The measures taken against the virus can reduce the symptoms, but does not eliminate the possibility of the child being born with congenital rubella.

    Living / Prognosis

    Because treatment is often not necessary, portion sizes are enough for recovery.Some measures can help speed up the process, see:
    • Rest
    • Use of non-prescription medicines to relieve fever and discomfort caused by pain
    • Avoid going to work, school, college or attend social environments in order to prevent transmission of the virus to others

    Possible complications

    Although rubella is a mild disease considered, it can happen to progress to more serious complications such as otitis media and even encephalitis.
    Pregnant women may have arthritis in fingers, wrists or knees, which can last about a month.
    The consequences of rubella for a newborn who inherited her mother's illness, however, can be severe. Among them are:
    • Intellectual Disability
    • Cataract
    • Deafness
    • Congenital heart defects
    • Defects in the operation of some organs
    • Growth retardation


    Once you have been infected by the rubella virus, one is permanently immune to it, or may not have rubella again.
    Treatment for rubella is usually dispensed in view of the symptoms usually disappear by themselves.


    Vaccination is the safest and most effective way to prevent rubella. The rubella vaccine is recommended for all children. It is usually applied in infants 12-15 months, but sometimes it is administered before and during epidemics. A second vaccination (booster) is routinely applied in children between four and six years.The MMR is a combined vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella.Already the MMRV vaccine also protects against chickenpox


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