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  • Rubella

    (German Measles; 3-Day Measles)


    Rubella is a contagious viral illness. Once you have had rubella, you will not get sick with it again.
    Rubella Rash
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    Babies, whose mothers have rubella during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, can be born with severe birth defects including:


    Rubella is caused by a virus. It is passed from person to person through tiny droplets in the air.

    Risk Factors

    You're more likely to get rubella if:
    • You have never had the condition.
    • You have never been immunized against it.


    Symptoms are usually mild and include:
    • Fatigue, low energy
    • Swollen lymph nodes
    • Flushed face
    • Red throat (although not sore)
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Achy joints and arthritis (especially in adults)
    • Red, spotty rash all over the body


    The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Rubella is diagnosed by blood tests.


    There is no treatment for rubella. To help make you more comfortable, your doctor may give you acetaminophen (Tylenol).


    The rubella vaccine is often given as a combination vaccine:
    The regular schedule for giving the vaccine is at age 12-15 months and again at age 4-6 years. If you or your child has never been vaccinated against rubella, talk to the doctor.
    Women who are not sure if they have been vaccinated should be tested. This is very important if they are in occupations with high risk of exposure to rubella, such as:
    • Healthcare workers
    • Teachers
    • Childcare workers


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov

    Immunization Action Coalition http://www.immunize.org


    About KidsHealth http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca

    Communicable Disease Control Unit - Manitoba Health http://www.gov.mb.ca


    Behrman RE, Kliegman R, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 16th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2000.

    Conn HF, Rakel RE. Conn's Current Therapy. 53rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2001.

    Rakel RE, Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. 59th ed. Edinburgh, UK: Elsevier Saunders; 2007.

    Jenson HB, Nelson WE, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 17th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2004.

    1/4/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended immunization schedules for persons aged 0-18 years—United States, 2008. MMWR. 2008;57;Q1-Q4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MMWR website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5701a8.htm. Updated January 10, 2008. Accessed January 28, 2008.

    Revision Information

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