Rubella

Rubella (German measles) is a highly contagious viral infection. It is contagious for about 1 week before the rash. It is contagious for about 1 week after its disappearance. The peak incidence is from age 5 to 15 years. The most common symptoms are:

  • A pinkish rash.

  • Swollen glands.

  • A mild fever.

Generally rubella is a benign (noncancerous), self-limited disease. It causes no lasting problems. However, if exposed in the first trimester of a pregnancy it can cause severe birth defects. It is spread through the lungs. It can be prevented by vaccination or avoiding exposure.

All children should receive the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Do not give aspirin to children.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort and or fever, as directed by your caregiver.

  • Avoid exposing your child to other people for at least 7 days after the rash has completely disappeared or as your caregiver suggests. If contact with a pregnant woman occurs, notify her immediately so she may inform her caregiver.

  • Have your child rest as needed. This may be needed more during the fever (febrile) phase.

  • Your child may return to school or daycare 1 week after the rash completely disappears.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Your child has an oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C).

  • The fever lasts more than 5 days.

  • The rash becomes itchy.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Your child develops confusion, becomes progressively more ill, or develops a severe headache or neck pain.

  • The rash becomes purple.