Rubella (German: Rubeola) is a viral disease caused by the virus of the same name. The virus causes mild fever, headache, muscle aches and pains, sore throat and red eyes. About one out of every 1,000 babies born in developed countries will develop this condition during their lifetime. However it is rare in developing nations where most children are born with immunity against it.
The World Health Organization estimates that there were approximately 200 cases worldwide in 1946. By 1968, the number had risen to over 2,500 cases. Since then it has been on a steady decline and today only affects around 150 people per year in developed nations. Worldwide, there have been no reported deaths from rubella since its introduction into vaccines in 1963.
However, it still remains a very dangerous disease for pregnant women and newborns. It can cause miscarriage or even premature birth. It is estimated that up to 10% of all congenital rubella syndrome cases occur in the first month after conception. In some cases, infants may never make it through their first birthday due to complications resulting from rubella infection. There are currently no approved vaccines against rubella, though several experimental treatments exist which might prevent the onset of symptoms in affected individuals.
Rubella has been a relatively unknown disease since it was first discovered in 1814. It wasn’t until the 1940s that doctors began to notice an alarming trend when women gave birth to children with congenital rubella syndrome. Even today, many people don’t know about the importance of being vaccinated against rubella. Luckily, the disease no longer affects many regions of the world and is rarely seen in developed countries.
Symptoms of Rubella
Rubella is known as a mild disease that does not usually cause unpleasant symptoms. Many people who have been infected show no signs of infection at all. In some cases, people may experience mild redness and swelling of the eyes and throat that can last up to one week.
In most cases, people will get a mild fever and headache that can sometimes last up to one week. About one in three infected children also get an ear infection. In some cases, people may develop arthritis as a result of the infection with symptoms ranging from joint pain to swollen joints lasting about anywhere from two days to two weeks.
Although rubella is a mild infection in general, there are several serious complications that can result from the disease. These complications only occur when the mother infects herself with the virus during her first trimester. In some cases it can also cause congenital rubella syndrome in infants infected while still in the womb.
Children infected with rubella before birth may suffer from hearing loss, eye disorders, heart defects, and compromised immune systems. They may suffer from developmental delays and intellectual disabilities. Severe brain damage and death can also occur in infants infected with rubella.
Congenital Rubella Syndrome causes birth defects such as deafness, blindness, heart disease, liver failure, and even death.
It is especially dangerous for pregnant women to contract the virus during their first trimester. In fact, congenital rubella syndrome occurs in some cases of mothers who become infected between one month before and up to two weeks after conception. Others may be infected for months without knowing they are infected and give birth to children with congenital rubella syndrome.
Because rubella is so mild in most people, it is very easy for someone who has been infected to not realize they have the disease. Most of the time, this can lead to a severe infection in a pregnant woman’s fetus. In fact, most people who develop rubella do not even know they ever had the virus.
Other animals can also carry rubella, so it is important to practice safe habits when interacting with furry pets.
How Rubella Spreads
Rubella spreads from person to person through the air. Since the virus is found in an infected person’s respiratory secretions such as saliva, mucus, and spit, you can easily become infected by coming into contact with the saliva of an infected individual.
An infected person can transmit the virus from one to two days before the rash appears to four days after it’s appearance.
A person with rubella is usually considered infectious a week before they show symptoms and for about a week after.
How to Prevent the Spread of Rubella
The only sure way to prevent the spread of rubella is to make sure that you and everyone who may come in contact with an infant is immune to rubella.
Before allowing anyone who may have had contact with an infant to enter the child’s room, ask them to provide medical proof that they have received the rubella vaccine. If they cannot provide such documentation, they should not be allowed in the room.
If you contract rubella and become ill with a rash, stay home from work or school until at least five days after the rash starts and seek medical advice.
Be sure to wash your hands frequently when around infants, especially before preparing food, after changing diapers, and after coughing or sneezing.
If you develop a rash seek medical attention immediately.
How to Diagnose and Treat Rubella
If a child develops a rash or other symptoms of rubella, they should be taken to the nearest emergency room immediately. If no symptoms are present, the child should receive the MMR vaccine within three days of first exposure to the virus. The vaccine will not only prevent infection from occurring but will also prevent or reduce sickness if an infection does occur.
A child who develops a rash should be isolated immediately. Anyone who has been in contact with the child should seek medical attention and provide documentation that they have received the rubella vaccine or had the disease in the past.
Treatment for rubella is mainly supportive and aimed at keeping the patient comfortable. There is no specific treatment for rubella, and doctors can only focus on reducing symptoms. Patients will need to stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids.
Immunoglobulin can be injected to reduce the risk of hearing loss and other complications. If a pregnant woman is exposed to rubella, she can receive immunoglobulin to help prevent a miscarriage or to help prevent her from passing the virus to the fetus.
The best prevention for rubella is to make sure that everyone has had both the rubella and MMR vaccine. If you or your child develop symptoms of rubella, seek medical attention immediately.
How to Prevent the Spread of Rubella: Preventing the spread of rubella is very important. Not only can it cause devastating health effects but it can also be fatal.
If you are exposed to rubella and not immune to the virus, you will need to wait at least 28 days before being allowed into the room of an infant. The virus is spread through coughing and sneezing. Since the incubation period can be as long as 50 days, you may become contagious before you even know that you have the virus.
You should also wash your hands frequently and try to avoid contact with people who are sick. If you are working in a medical setting or around children, be sure to let your supervisor know if you suspect that you have been exposed to rubella.
Rubella is a very common virus that causes symptoms similar to a cold. Most people recover from rubella after a few days. However, if you are a female of childbearing age or are looking to become pregnant, infection with rubella can be devastating.
The most severe symptom of rubella is the development of a rash. The rash can usually be identified by a dermatologist immediately following exposure because it is so distinctive. The rash is mainly on the face and neck and causes a slight swelling of the glands in this area.
The rash and other symptoms of rubella develop within 14 days after being infected. In more serious cases, the virus can also develop in the internal organs causing organ failure or death. These more severe cases are rare but still possible.
If you have had rubella in the past or have been vaccinated against rubella, you do not need to seek treatment for this virus. Similarly, if you do not have any unnecessary contact with people who are pregnant, you may feel comfortable letting the disease run its course without medical attention.
If you think you have been exposed to rubella and are planning on becoming pregnant or become pregnant within the next three months, you should seek immediate medical attention. You will be given an injection of immunoglobulin that can prevent rubella or significantly reduce the risk of miscarriage.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of rubella, make sure to wash your hands frequently and not come into contact with infants. You may also want to avoid contact with people in general if you have a rash as this may spread the virus and cause others to become infected as well. And while you may feel tired after recovering from the virus, try to rest as much as possible so that your immune system can fight off the virus or any secondary infections.
If you develop a rash after exposure to this virus, seek medical attention immediately.
Rubella is a common virus that is very contagious and spreads through the air. The virus can survive outside of the body on surfaces for up to two hours. It can also be spread through the urine and saliva of an infected person. The virus is contagious from as soon as symptoms begin until the entire body is rash-free. However, most people are not contagious one week before and after the rash appears.
Rubella is most contagious in children between the ages of three and five before they are vaccinated. Outbreaks most commonly occur in classrooms during this time of year.
Despite the high rate of infection, it is rare for children to die from the virus. Most children recover on their own without medical intervention. This virus is uncommon among teenagers and adults, but when it does occur it can be very serious. The virus can also cause birth defects if a woman is infected during pregnancy, which is why doctors recommend that all women who are planning on becoming pregnant get vaccinated.
If you have not been vaccinated against rubella, you can get the MMR vaccine. It is a combination vaccine that also protects you against measles and mumps. This vaccine is usually given in combination with other vaccines. It is most effective when given to children between the age of 12 to 15 months. A booster vaccine is usually given at the age of four to six years.
If you have been vaccinated, there is no need for you to take any extra measures.
What to do if You are Infected
Today, rubella infections are rare in most developed countries. Most cases are found in children who have not been vaccinated or adults who never had the MMR vaccine. If a pregnant woman is infected with rubella during the first trimester, there is a risk that her baby can be born blind, deaf, or have a heart defect. Other defects include liver and kidney problems as well as intellectual disabilities. In some rare cases, the baby will die after birth.
Although it is rare for adults to get rubella, if it does occur it can be very serious, especially for women.