(German Measles; 3-Day Measles)
Rubella is a contagious viral illness. Once you have had rubella, you will not get sick with it again.
Babies whose mothers have rubella during pregnancy
Rubella is caused by a virus. It is passed from person to person through tiny droplets in the air.
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)
- Achy joints and arthritis (especially in adults)
- Red, spotty rash all over the body
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. 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 the 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
- Childcare workers
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Immunization Action Coalition
Communicable Disease Control Unit
Behrman RE, Kliegman R, Jenson HB. 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, Conn HF. Conn's Current Therapy . 59th ed. Edinburgh, UK: Elsevier Saunders; 2007.
Jenson HB, Nelson WE, Behrman RE, Kliegman R. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics . 17th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2004.
DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : 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.
Last reviewed September 2009 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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