Rubella, sometimes called German measles, is a viral infection. It usually causes a mild illness in children. Adults have a slightly more severe illness. The disease is spread person-to-person through droplets coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person. It takes 2 to 3 weeks before symptoms to develop after exposure. Although the illness is mostly mild, the virus can cause serious birth defects in pregnant women. The vaccine is effective in preventing rubella.
Rubella is caused by a virus and is spread from person-to-person through droplets coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person. Most outbreaks of rubella happen among young adults and adults who have not been vaccinated or have not had the disease before.
The following are the most common symptoms of rubella. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Rubella in pregnant women may cause serious complications in the fetus. This includes a range of severe birth defects.
The symptoms of rubella may look like other medical conditions. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Along with a complete medical history and medical exam, diagnosis is often confirmed with a throat culture and blood testing.
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment for you:
Treatment for rubella is usually limited to acetaminophen for fever. There are no medicines to treat the virus infection itself.
For most people, rubella is a mild disease and does not cause complications. If a woman is infected with the disease while pregnant, her unborn baby can develop defects. Possible birth defects caused by rubella include:
Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) is a childhood vaccine that protects against these 3 viruses. MMR makes most people immune to rubella (in addition to measles and mumps). People who have had rubella are immune for life.
Usually, the first dose of the MMR vaccine is given when a child is 12 to 15 months old. A second dose is given at 4 to 6 years of age. However, if 28 days have passed since the first dose was given, a second dose may be given before the age of 4.
Rubella usually resolves on its own. However, tell your healthcare provider if:
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