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: October 01, 2019 03:03 PM

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