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Rubella or German Measles is caused by the rubella virus. It is different from measles in that it primarily affects the skin and lymph nodes. In rare cases, rubella can lead to arthritis, encephalitis, myocarditis and thrombocytopenia. Rubella or German measles can have serious repercussions on a pregnant woman since it affect the developing fetus. It can lead to growth and mental retardation as well as malformation of the eyes and heart.

Rubella manifests in symptoms such as fever and swollen tender lymph nodes. There is rash that appears all over the body. The rashes are light pink patches that last about 3 days. A patient suffering from rubella suffers headache, loss of appetite and runny nose. There might be mild conjunctivitis. Often pain and swelling is noticed in the joints.

A virus culture helps in detecting the type of rubella antibodies in the blood. Paracetamol or ibuprofen can reduce pain and fever. Rubella is usually self-limiting and lasts for about 2- 3 weeks. There is no treatment for this disease. Rubella vaccine is part of the MMR immunization scheduled for children. A second dose is recommended again around 4 - 6 years.


Rubella or German Measles is different from measles in that this is caused by the rubella virus. This infection typically strikes at the skin and lymph nodes. When children are infected by rubella, it is generally a mild attack. Rubella is particularly dangerous when it attacks a pregnant woman. The infection can pass through the bloodstream to the fetus. This can result in congenital rubella syndrome in the offspring. This may manifest in growth and mental retardation or malformations. The MMR vaccine is an effective protection against rubella.

The symptoms associated with German measles are mild fever and tender lymph nodes. A rash appears on the face and spreads later to other parts of the body. The rash is pinkish or light red and causes itching. There may be headache, loss of appetite and runny nose. In few patients suffering from rubella, mild conjunctivitis is noticed. Typically the rubella rash lasts 3 days. While children recover faster, adults may take longer.

MMR Vaccination

The rubella vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine; a mixture of three live attenuated viruses. It is given as part of the MMR vaccine (protecting against Measles, Mumps and Rubella). All girls should be vaccinated against German measles. This is to prevent problems during pregnancy. First the measles vaccine was developed, later the mumps vaccine and finally the rubella vaccine was developed. They were combined into a single vaccination in the year 1971. These days a vaccine called the MMRV is available which is used to address mumps, measles, rubella and varicella (chickenpox).

Vaccine dosage

These days all children are administered the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR or Priorix) in two doses.

1. The first dose is administered in 12-15 months
2. The second one in 3 years.

Women who have been vaccinated with this vaccine should avoid getting pregnant for a period of 3 months from the date of the vaccination. The first dose of MMR vaccine produces good immunity to measles (9598%), mumps (97%), and rubella (95%). The second dose of MMR is supposed to produce immunity in people who did not respond to the first dose; however a very small percentage of people may not be protected even after a second dose.

Tags: #Rubella #Rubella #MMR Vaccination
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: July 22, 2024