Condition 101 About Rubella

What is the definition of Rubella?

Rubella, also known as the German measles, is an infection in which there is a rash on the skin.

Congenital rubella is when a pregnant woman with rubella passes it to the baby that is still in her womb.

What are the alternative names for Rubella?

Three day measles; German measles

What are the causes for Rubella?

Rubella is caused by a virus that is spread through the air or by close contact.

A person with rubella may spread the disease to others from 1 week before the rash begins, until 1 to 2 weeks after the rash disappears.

Because the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is given to most children, rubella is much less common now. Almost everyone who receives the vaccine has immunity to rubella. Immunity means that your body has built a defense to the rubella virus.

In some adults, the vaccine may wear off. This means they are not fully protected. Women who may become pregnant and other adults may receive a booster shot.

Children and adults who were never vaccinated against rubella may still get this infection.

What are the symptoms for Rubella?

Children generally have few symptoms. Adults may have a fever, headache, general discomfort (malaise), and a runny nose before the rash appears. They may not notice the symptoms.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Bruising (rare)
  • Inflammation of the eyes (bloodshot eyes)
  • Muscle or joint pain

What are the current treatments for Rubella?

There is no treatment for this disease.

Taking acetaminophen can help reduce fever.

Defects that occur with congenital rubella syndrome can be treated.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Rubella?

Rubella is most often a mild infection.

After an infection, people have immunity to the disease for the rest of their lives.

What are the possible complications for Rubella?

Complications can occur in the unborn baby if the mother becomes infected during pregnancy. A miscarriage or stillbirth may occur. The child may be born with birth defects.

When should I contact a medical professional for Rubella?

Call your health care provider if:

  • You are a woman of childbearing age and are unsure of whether you have been vaccinated against rubella
  • You or your child develop a severe headache, stiff neck, earache, or vision problems during or after a case of rubella
  • You or your child need to receive MMR immunization (vaccine)

How do I prevent Rubella?

There is a safe and effective vaccine to prevent rubella. The rubella vaccine is recommended for all children. It is routinely given when children are 12 to 15 months old, but is sometimes given earlier during epidemics. A second vaccination (booster) is routinely given to children ages 4 to 6. MMR is a combination vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, and rubella.

Women of childbearing age most often have a blood test to see if they have immunity to rubella. If they are not immune, women should avoid getting pregnant for 28 days after receiving the vaccine.

Those who should not get vaccinated include:

  • Women who are pregnant.
  • Anyone whose immune system is affected by cancer, corticosteroid medicines, or radiation treatment.

Great care is taken not to give the vaccine to a woman who is already pregnant. However, in the rare instances when pregnant women have been vaccinated, no problems have been detected in the infants.

Rubella
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REFERENCES

Mason WH, Gans HA. Rubella. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 274.

Michaels MG, Williams JV. Infectious diseases. In: Zitelli, BJ, McIntire SC, Nowalk AJ, eds. Zitelli and Davis' Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 13.

Robinson CL, Bernstein H, Romero JR, Szilagyi P. Advisory Committee On Immunization Practices recommended immunization schedule for children and adolescents aged 18 years or younger - United States, 2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2019;68(5):112-114. PMID: 30730870 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30730870.

Top Global Doctors For Rubella

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Elite
Zhen B. Zhu
Beijing, CN
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Elite
Yoshio Mori
Tokyo, JP
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Distinguished
Mark Muscat
Copenhagen, DK

Latest Advances On Rubella

  • Condition: Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) in Very Elderly Patient With Covid-19
  • Journal: Frontiers in medicine
  • Treatment Used: Corticosteroids
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
This case report discusses a very elderly patient with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) due to COVID-19 treated with corticosteroids.
  • Condition: Moyamoya Disease with Concurrent Congenital Rubella Syndrome
  • Journal: World neurosurgery
  • Treatment Used: Combined Direct and Indirect Revascularization
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
This case report describes a patient with moyamoya disease with concurrent congenital rubella syndrome that was treated using a combined direct and indirect revascularization.