ABC Medical Center > Rubella

What is Rubella?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It is a viral contagious disease similar to measles, but less serious and infective. Its main symptom is the appearance of a reddish rash.

In most cases, the symptoms are mild or sometimes non-existent, although in pregnant women it is highly dangerous for the fetus since it can die or develop serious problems such as congenital rubella syndrome, which can include:

  • Congenital heart disease
  • Various organ involvement.
  • Mental retardation.
  • Development problems.
  • Cataracts.
  • Deafness.

In many countries, rubella has been practically eradicated due to the massive application of the triple viral vaccine (rubella, measles, and mumps), which has proven to be effective. However, in nations without a vaccination culture, rubella continues to wreak havoc on babies and mothers who contract the infection while pregnant.

The rubella virus is spread through the secretions of someone infected by talking, sneezing, or coughing; and in the case of pregnant women, they transmit it to their babies through infected blood.

The contagion capacity of the virus lasts approximately one month; 15 days before the rash breaks out and 15 days after it disappears, so it is very possible to be a vehicle of contagion without being aware that we are sick.

Signs and symptoms Rubella

The symptoms are sometimes difficult to identify, especially in infants, but the most common are the following:

  • High fever not higher than 38.5ºC.
  • Headache.
  • Nasal congestion or fluid mucus.
  • Irritation and swelling of the eyes.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.
  • Reddish rashes on the face, chest, upper, and lower limbs.
  • Joint pain.

See your doctor if you identify any of these symptoms in your child or yourself or if they have had contact with someone who is sick. In case you intend to get pregnant, it is important to apply the triple viral vaccine.

Diagnosis and treatment Rubella

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination where they will observe the type of skin rash you have, but since it is similar to various viral infections, to confirm the rubella diagnosis, they must perform blood and a viral culture to be analyzed in the laboratory and detect antibodies against rubella.

Since it is a viral disease there is no effective treatment, so it focuses on the control of symptoms and isolation to avoid contagion, especially in pregnant women.

If you are pregnant and test positive for rubella, your doctor will explain your baby’s health risks, but if you still decide to continue with the pregnancy, it is most likely that you will be given hyperimmune globulin antibodies to attack the virus, which reduces the symptoms but does not prevent your child from experiencing serious congenital complications.

At the ABC Medical Center Internal Medicine Department we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies, of chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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