What is rubella? (symptoms, causes and treatment)

Rubella, or German measles, is usually a mild illness, and may pass unrecognized.

The incubation period is 14 to 20 days and there may be little or no fever or malaise before the appearance of the pink macular rash which lasts for about 3 days. Generalized lymphadenopathy, especially involving the suboccipital nodes. may be present.

A will-be mother should try her best to avoid being infected by this disease because it has devastating effect on the developing fetus. A generalized viraemia may lead to fetal death and spontaneous abortion, or may affect the growth and development of the fetus resulting in a severely handicapped child with multiple congenital defects, classically including cataracts, deafness and congenital heart disease.

There is a live attenuated vaccine against rubella. In the UK, the vaccine has been given at the age of 12 to 18 months to girls and boys to stop epidemics occurring and protect even those who have not or cannot be immunized since 1988.The vaccine os comnined with measles and mumps vaccines.


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