Rubella - German Measles




Virus / Bacteria?  Virus

Spread by: Droplets - sneezing, coughing, air borne virus

Immunisation? Yes, part of the MMR vaccine. Infection of the virus causes life long immunity.


Higher risk persons:
pregnant women and children

Infection summary:

A mild viral infection presenting with flu-like symtoms, which is contagious through sneezing or coughing of others that contain the virus already. It is also known as German Measles which is not the same as regular measles as it is not as severe as regular measles. The virus usually shows a diffuse red rash on the back and swollen lymph nodes,


The symptoms of Rubella are very mild compared to measles especially in children. They appear around 2-3 weeks after exposure to an infected person.

Symptoms are:

• Headache
• Mild fever
• Runny nose and stuffy sinuses
• Aching joints
• Inflamed, red eyes
• Enlarged and tender lymph nodes that are at the bottom of the skull, back of the neck and behind the ears
• A pink rash that starts on the face and spreads to the trunk and then the arms and legs, and then disappearing in the same patterns


Medication: There is no effective antiviral treatment for rubella and the illness should be treated symptomatically. Treatment of symptoms should include a lot of fluids especially during fever episodes to prevent dehydration.

Paracetamol may be used to reduce fever and pain. (Aspirin should not be given to children under 12 years of age or to persons with kidney impairment or gastric problems, as this will be aggravated.)
Nursing care:

Drink plenty of fluids. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to look after your intake on fluids, talk to your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink and the types of fluids allowed.
Rest is important to help heal
Take pain medicines which can also reduce fever. Always check with a medical professional before taking medication to ensure this is safe to take.
Place wet clothes over the rash to reduce the itch. 
Do not smoke. Smoking will worsen the symptoms.

Testicular swelling, inflammation of the nerves, possible miscarriage

Get vaccinated


Preganant ladies should be especially careful and avoid any contact with Rubella/German Measles, as it can severly harm the baby. The crucial times are during the first 2 trimesters, as the body systems are being developed. 

If you have been in contact with an infected person, consult a medical professional. 












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