Rubella

Also known as: German measles, three-day measles.

What is rubella?

Rubella is a viral infection that is similar to the measles, in that it causes a bodily rash and fever. However, the illness tends to not be as severe as measles, and it is also not as contagious. Rubella is not as common as it used to be thanks to a vaccine for the disease.

What causes rubella?

Rubella is caused by a virus. It can be spread from person to person much like a cold, through coughing, sneezing or direct contact with fluids from the infected individual.

What are the symptoms of rubella?

Symptoms of rubella can include a runny nose, red eyes, achy joints, headache, fever, enlarged lymph nodes and a pink rash that starts on the face and spreads across the entire body. Unlike Measles, cough is not frequently associated to Rubella.

The two most common complications are meningitis and in male orchitis (inflammation of the testis which can lead to sterility). When it affects a woman during pregnancy the effects on the offspring can be devastating.

What are rubella care options?

Vaccinations can prevent rubella infections from occurring or spreading. The Rubella vaccine is part of the triple viral vaccine MMR which is administered at 12-15 months of age and a booster dose at age 4-6 years.


Reviewed by: P. Marcelo Laufer, MD

This page was last updated on: December 08, 2021 04:21 PM

Infectious Diseases

The Division of Infectious Diseases at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital uses state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to identify acute or chronic viral and bacterial diseases, so that we can treat it effectively as quickly as possible.

Learn more

Learn more about

Measles

Measles is a viral infection characterized by a fever, cough and a full-body rash. The disease has become increasingly rare in the United States but in the last 2 years there have been more cases as some families have refused vaccinations. Learn more

Meningitis

Meningitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the linings that cover the spinal cord and the brain. Learn more

Congenital Rubella

Rubella is a virus that causes a disease commonly known as the German measles. When the virus is passed to an unborn fetus by the mother, this is known as congenital rubella. Learn more

Encephalitis

Encephalitis is a rare inflammation of the brain, which has a number of causes. Learn more

Vaccines

Vaccinations provide the body with protection from developing the illnesses later in life.