Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
 

Rubella (German Measles)

Rubella (German Measles)

What is rubella (German measles)?

Rubella, sometimes called German measles, is an acute viral infection that causes a mild illness in children and slightly more severe illness in adults. The disease is spread person-to-person through airborne particles and takes two to three weeks to incubate.

What are the symptoms of rubella?

The following are the most common symptoms of rubella. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

Rubella in pregnant women may cause serious complications in the fetus, including a range of severe birth defects.

The symptoms of rubella may resemble other medical conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How is rubella diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnosis is often confirmed with a throat culture and blood testing.

What is the treatment for rubella?

Specific treatment for rubella will be determined by your physician based on:

Treatment for rubella is usually limited to acetaminophen for fever.

How is rubella prevented?

Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) is a combination childhood vaccination that protects against these three viruses. MMR provides immunity for most people. People who have had rubella are immune for life.

Usually, the first dose of the MMR vaccine is administered when a child is 12 months old, and a second dose given at 4 to 6 years of age. However, if 28 days have passed since the first dose was administered, a second dose may be given before the age of four.

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