Congenital Rubella Syndrome

(CRS)

Definition

Rubella is an infection caused by a virus. If a pregnant woman becomes infected, she can pass the infection to the unborn baby. This infection can lead to severe birth defects, miscarriage, or stillbirth. The health problems due to the infection are called congenital rubella syndrome.
Rubella Rash
Rubella
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Causes

Congenital rubella syndrome is caused by an infection of the rubella virus. The virus first infects the mother. It then passes to the baby during pregnancy. The virus interrupts the development of the baby.

Risk Factors

There is a vaccination for rubella. If the mother has not had this vaccination, the baby has an increased risk of infection. The infection is most dangerous to the baby in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Pregnancy in First Trimester
9th week fetus
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Symptoms

Symptoms can vary depending on the timing of the infection. Some problems caused by congenital rubella include:
  • Slowing of fetal growth
  • Small head circumference
  • Hearing loss
  • Dental problems and other bone problems
  • Abnormal smallness of one or both eyes
  • Enlargement of liver and spleen, including liver damage
  • Neurological abnormalities including developmental delay

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