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Rubella (German Measles): Diagnosis, Symptoms and Treatment

What is Rubella ?

Rubella (also known as German measles) is an acute infection of virus that causes increased lymph nodes and mild rash. Rubella virus is the cause of rubella disease. There are many people who face with this disease and rubella vaccine has reduced the cases of rubella infection to much extent in the United States. It causes a rash in childhood but it can also occur in adults and affect most parts of the body. There are two types of Rubella disease and each caused by different types of virus but both cause fever and rash.

  • The rubella virus is a measles virus that causes red measles. It is also known as hard measles or simple measles. Most people who face with red measles recover without any problem but it can also cause brain inflammation (encephalitis) and pneumonia.
  • Second type of rubella is rubella virus that causes German measles. Other name of this virus is “three-day measles”. This is more severe disease than red measles and it can produce birth defect if a pregnant woman is infected with this disease and virus passes to her future baby also.

Measles causes

The rubeola and rubella viruses are spread from the route of respiratory. They are transmitted from person to another through sneezing and coughing. Rubeola is the most common contagious virus that is popular in men. It spread very fast in everyone around infected person. When people become infected through respiratory tract, they eventually get ill and the virus can spread without showing any symptom at the start.

  • If people are susceptible to the rubella virus from vaccination or virus infection in the past, they cannot find any disease that occurs with that virus. For instance, if a person had this infection when he was child, then he would not get this disease again.

Rubella symptoms

Duration of getting infection of rubella or German measles and becoming weak with sickness is between 10 to 14 days.

  • At the start, many infected people experience headache, fever, fatigue and red eyes. These all rubella symptoms appear some days before the rash appears on the body. All these initial symptoms are more commonly found in adults, rather than in children.
  • Some people also face swollen and tender lymph nodes that appear on the back of neck.
  • After some days, rash starts which is pink to light red color. Normally, rash starts from the face of patient and eventually it moves downwards to other parts of the body.
  • Adult women who have German measles may get pain in joint for some days or even weeks. This infection also affects other parts also such as wrists, hands and knees. Due to this pain, they cannot do their daily routine work as normally and feel tired.
  • One major complication of rubella is “congenital rubella” and it is the most feared problem that occurs when virus passes from pregnant woman to her future baby. Due to this complication, several problems can occur not only in pregnant woman but also her unborn child. Besides birth defects, your infected baby may also have heart defect, hearing problem, cataracts and disabilities of learning. The risk of transmission of German measles from mother to baby is early in pregnancy. Moreover, this infection may also cause stillbirth and miscarriage.

Rubella and pregnancy

Rubella is a very dangerous disease that can cause several other problems in adults as well as children. But if you have both German measles and pregnancy at the same time then it would be more dangerous for you as due to this infection you can also lost your baby at the time of delivery. You may face congenital rubella that is worse than all. Rubella infection in pregnant women may cross the womb and then affect your baby that may lead to several defects. If the infection finds in first three months after you get pregnant, the chances of fetus infection are more than 80%. There are less chances of infection of fetus in 5th and 6th months of pregnancy.

Rubella treatment

Till now, medical experts did not find any special treatment for rubella or German measles but there are anti-histamines and calamine lotion that help patient to relieve the itching that occur due to rash. You can take painkillers for curing your painful lymph modes. Moreover, you can also follow below tips that you can adopt in order to make your disease more tolerable.

  • Take a lot of rest;
  • Take bath with warm water that may help you to reduce your discomfort because of fever;
  • Drink fluids as much as you can as they can help you to avoid the dehydration;
  • To stop your cough, you can take vaporizer and humidifier;
  • Take medicines that can relieve your pain and fever reducers of any brand such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen that can help you to fight with virus.