(German Measles; 3-Day Measles)
DefinitionRubella is an upper respiratory infection most known for its red rash.
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CausesRubella is caused by a virus. The virus is passed from person to person through tiny droplets in the air.
Risk FactorsFactors that may increase your risk of rubella include:
- Never having the condition
- Never receiving an immunization for rubella
SymptomsMany people with rubella do not have symptoms. In those that have them, symptoms are usually mild and include:
- Red, spotty rash all over the body
- Fatigue, low energy, and discomfort
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Flushed face
- Red throat that is not sore
- Achy joints and arthritis , especially in adults
- Intellectual disability and/or behavior problems
- Hearing problems
- Vision abnormalities, blindness, and/or cataracts
- Heart defects
- Increased risk of diabetes throughout early life
- Miscarriage or stillbirth
DiagnosisThe doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Rubella is confirmed by blood tests.
TreatmentThere is no treatment for rubella. To help make you more comfortable, your doctor may advise acetaminophen.
PreventionThe rubella vaccine is often given as a combination vaccine with:
- Healthcare workers
- Childcare workers
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Immunization Action Coalition
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children
Public Health Agency of Canada
Rubella. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 28, 2014. Accessed August 27, 2014.
Rubella. World Health Organization website. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs367/en. Updated July 2012. Accessed August 27, 2014.
Rubella (German measles, three-day measles). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/rubella. Updated February 4, 2009. Accessed August 27, 2014.
Rubella (German measles). Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/german%5Fmeasles.html. Updated July 2012. Accessed August 27, 2014.
Rubella (German measles or three-day measles). New York State Department of Health website. Available at: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/rubella/fact%5Fsheet.htm. Updated January 2012. Accessed August 27, 2014.
- Reviewer: Fabienne Daguilh, MD
- Review Date: 06/2014
- Update Date: 08/27/2014
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