Rubella, also known as German measles, is an infection caused by a virus.
What are the Symptoms of rubella?
Rubella is usually a mild illness with few or no symptoms at all. Some people who get the virus may develop symptoms that include; slight fever, headache, runny nose, red eyes, swollen glands and a widespread red spotty rash. The rash usually lasts about three days it starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body.
Rubella is not usually a serious disease in children, but it can be very serious if a pregnant woman becomes infected. When a woman gets rubella during pregnancy, especially during the first 3 months, the infection is likely to spread to the fetus and cause congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). CRS can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, and severe birth defects.
How is rubella spread?
Rubella spreads easily from person to person, most often through close contact with an infected person. Coughing, sneezing and talking can spread rubella when small droplets leave the infected person and are inhaled by others. Transmission can also occur indirectly through contact with articles freshly contaminated with saliva or mucous from an infected person. Rubella can also be transmitted from an infected mother across the placenta to her baby during pregnancy.
Immunization is the best way to prevent rubella infection. A vaccine for rubella is available in combination with measles and mumps vaccine (MMR). This MMR combination vaccine is recommended for all children. The first dose should be given on or after the first birthday, a second dose is given at least one month after the first.
More to know
- Vaccination is your best defense.
- Check your immunization record to ensure you have received the rubella vaccine (MMR).
- If you are thinking of becoming pregnant, please speak to your healthcare provider about vaccination and your immunity.
- Women should not be vaccinated if they are already pregnant. Women should not become pregnant within 1 month of receiving the vaccine.
- Watch for signs of rubella. Contact your healthcare provider if you develop symptoms or are pregnant and have been exposed to a case of rubella.
- Infected people should avoid contact with pregnant women; and be excluded from work, school, childcare facilities and other activities for 7 days after the rash appears.
- Cough into a tissue or your upper sleeve, not into your hands.
- Hand washing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infection.