Rubella: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

What is rubella?

You certainly are familiar with the term rubella disease. Rubella is an infectious disease caused by a virus. Rubella disease is also known as German measles which makes sufferers experience red rashes and high body temperature.

The cause of rubella is a virus. The rubella virus is spread through sneezing droplets or snot of people infected by rubella or German measles.

For most people rubella is a mild disease. However, for pregnant women, rubella is a disease that can cause serious consequences.

Measles rubella often occurs in children, but since the introduction of the vaccination program in the 1980s, the disease has been almost completely eradicated.

If the rubella virus spreads, it must be reported to the Health Department in the infectious disease section, because rubella is a disease that has been eradicated by vaccination.

This means that every doctor who diagnoses this infection is required by law to inform the Health Service. The aim is to identify the source of rubella virus infection and stop its spread.

Symptoms of Rubella

The main symptoms of rubella or German measles are swollen lymph nodes around the ears and back of the head, body heat to a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or more, and shivering. Other less common symptoms in adults are arthritis and arthralgia inflammation and joint pain.

Symptoms of rubella in general are as follows:

  • Mild fever at a temperature of 38.9 degrees Celsius or below
  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Inflamed red eyes
  • Swollen lymph glands behind the ear on the neck
  • Pink rash that spreads on the surface of the face and other body parts

In rare cases, rubella is a disease that can cause serious complications. In one of 6,000 cases, rubella disease can cause inflammation of the brain; in one in 3,000 cases, rubella can affect blood clots. The incubation period for rubella is 14-21 days, most people experience a rash between 14-17 days after exposure.

In most cases rubella is a mild condition, but if you suspect you have symptoms of rubella, you should contact your doctor to confirm whether the rash is due to rubella measles, or other symptoms of the disease. Especially if you are pregnant. Measles rubella or German measles can be diagnosed with a blood test.

If you have rubella, stay away from the work environment to avoid transmission, and if your child is infected with the rubella virus, you should take permission for sick from school activities until the child consults a doctor.

Causes of Rubella Disease

Rubella disease is a disease caused by a virus that is transmitted from one person to another. Rubella virus is a virus that can spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through direct contact with equipment used by sufferers such as breathing aids or even just a touch.

In addition, blood flow from a mother to the fetus can also be a cause of rubella before birth. Rubella virus can spread even before a red rash is seen in sufferers.

Rubella Measles Disease Dangerous for Pregnant Women

Some pregnant women will have immunity against rubella measles, both from those who have had the disease in the past or from being vaccinated.

However, if a pregnant woman has no immunity to the rubella virus, she can pass it on to her unborn child.

This virus can cause a number of birth defects known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) or congenital rubella syndrome. These birth defects include mental defects, cataracts, deafness, heart abnormalities or congenital heart disease, and fetal growth is slower than normal fetuses.

The risk of a baby affected by CRS and the severity of birth defects depends on the gestational age when the mother is exposed to rubella:

  • If the mother is infected with rubella when the gestational age is 11 weeks, the risk of CRS is 90 percent
  • If the mother is infected with rubella when the gestational age between weeks 11-16, the risk of CRS is 10-20 percent
  • If the mother is infected with rubella when the gestational age is between 16-20 weeks, the risk of CRS is minimal, deaf
  • If the mother is infected with rubella when the gestational age is above the 20th week, there is no increased risk of CRS.

Pregnant women should consult a doctor if they have rubella or if they have been with someone who has rubella for at least 15 minutes.

The test can be done if you have not been immunized against rubella and you may be referred to an obstetrician for further examination to check whether the baby has CRS. Ultrasound and amniosynthesis may determine the type and extent of birth defects.

Patients can be offered counseling so they can make decisions about whether to proceed with pregnancy in cases where birth defects have been confirmed.

Treating Rubella Disease

Rubella is a relatively mild case and there is no specific treatment for the condition. The symptoms of rubella usually subside within 7-10 days and there is no need to treat the rash because it will disappear over time.

Paracetamol or ibuprofen can be used to reduce fever, ease pain, and aches. Paracetamol or ibuprofen is given according to age and is safe to use for children. Patients also need to drink lots of fluids. If rubella occurs in pregnant women, of course you should immediately contact a doctor.

Prevention of Rubella

You certainly know what rubella is. The rest, knowledge of rubella prevention is of course also very important. Rubella is a disease that can be prevented by vaccination.

The most effective way to prevent rubella or German measles should be immunized with measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) or measles, mumps and rubella (CGR).

MMR vaccine is given to children as part of routine vaccination programs. The first dose is given at around 12-13 months and the second dose before they start school, usually between three to five years.

Women who plan to have a baby can ask their doctor for rubella immune testing. Those without or little rubella antibodies will be offered the MMR vaccine. This vaccine can be given at any time up to one month before getting pregnant so that the mother is immune to the rubella virus. National Health Service (NHS) says that nursing mothers are safe to get the MMR vaccine.

If you think your immunization is incomplete, and you risk getting the rubella virus, you can ask for the MMR vaccine at any time. A single vaccine to protect rubella is no longer available. MMR is a vaccination package that provides for mumps, measles and rubella.

The above article has explained in detail how rubella can infect sufferers, as well as how rubella can be transmitted from sufferers to others. For those of you who find the rubella case, you must be careful not to cause unwanted transmission.

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