Rubella (German measles) in children

Rubella (German measles) in children

What is rubella (German measles)?

Rubella is a viral disease that results in a viral rash. Exanthem is another name for a rash or skin rash. It is spread from one child to another through direct contact with discharge from the nose and throat.
Infants and children who develop the disease usually only have a mild case of rash and some respiratory symptoms. However, a fetus who contracts rubella from their mother while she is pregnant, can have severe birth defects and consequences. It is also very dangerous for pregnant women to get in touch with someone who has rubella, it can cause an abortion.

What causes rubella?

Rubella is caused by a virus, called Rubivirus. It can be spread from a pregnant mother to the fetus, or from person to person by contact with secretions from an infected person. It is most prevalent in late winter and early spring. Rubella can be prevented by proper immunization with the rubella vaccine.

What are the symptoms of rubella?

The disease itself does not have any long-term consequences except to infected fetuses. The biggest concern is to prevent an infected child from infecting a pregnant woman. It may take between 14 to 21 days for a child to develop signs of rubella after coming in contact with the disease. It is important to know that a child is most contagious when the rash is erupting. However, the child may be contagious beginning 7 days before the onset of the rash and 5 to 7 days after the rash appeared. Therefore, children may be contagious before they even know they have the disease. The following are the most common symptoms of rubella. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
  • Rubella childhood:
    • Rubella may begin with a period of not feeling well, a low-grade fever and diarrhea . This may last for one to five days.
    • The rash then appears as a pink rash with areas of small lesions, raised.
    • The rash starts on the face and then spreads down to the trunk, arms and legs.
    • The rash on the face usually improves as the rash spreads to the arms and legs.
    • The rash usually fades by the third to fifth day.
    • The lymph nodes in the neck may also become enlarged.
    • Older children and adolescents may develop some soreness and inflammation in the joints.
  • Congenital rubella syndrome. Rubella, which is present at birth, the child contracted it from his mother while in the womb, can result in many problems, including the following:
    • Cataracts in the eyes
    • Heart problems
    • Mental retardation
    • Growth retardation
    • Increased liver and spleen
    • Skin lesions
    • Bleeding problems
The symptoms of rubella may resemble other skin diseases or medical problems. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis.

How does rubella diagnosed?

Rubella is usually diagnosed based on clinical history-taking and physical examination. Rubella lesions are unique, and usually the diagnosis can be made on physical examination. In addition, your child's doctor may order blood tests or urine tests to confirm the diagnosis.

What is the treatment for rubella?

Specific treatment for rubella will be determined by your child's doctor based on:
  • The child's age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of disease
  • Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the disease
  • Your opinion or preference
The goal of treatment for rubella is to help prevent disease, or reduce the severity of symptoms. Since it is a viral infection, no cure for rubella. Treatment may include:
  • Increased fluid intake
  • Rest

How is the avoided rubella?

Since the introduction of rubella vaccine, rubella incidence decreased by over 99 percent. Most cases occur in adults today have not been vaccinated. The rubella vaccine is usually given in combination with measles and mumps. It is called the MMR vaccine. It is usually given when the child is age 12 to 15 months, and then once again between 4 years and 6. In addition, girls should have completed rubella vaccination before childbearing age.
Other ways to prevent the spread of rubella:
  • Children should not attend school for seven days after the onset of rash. Always consult your child's doctor for advice.
  • Children who are born with rubella are considered contagious for the first year of life.
  • Ensure that all your child's contacts have been properly immunized.

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