Rubella Or German Measles | Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
What Is Rubella
Rubella is an infection which is caused by the rubella virus. It is also known as German measles or three-day measles. Many times people are not aware of being infected from it.
The rash often starts two days after being infected from it & lasts for three days. The rash may be itchy in nature. It usually occurs on the face and then comes to the rest of the body.
Rubella may be coupled with fever fatigue and sore throat. Joint pain is also faced by adults. It spreads through the air with the cough of people who are infected.
It is a common disease. Rubella is a Latin word which translates into “Little Red”. Over 100000 cases are encountered yearly.
It can be prevented with rubella vaccine. Pregnant women who face rubella infection might result in a baby born with CRS (Congenital Rubella Syndrome).
German measles or three-day measles occurs due to infection from rubella virus. This virus may be transmitted through the air in contact with the infected person.
German measles virus is a togavirus which has a single-stranded RNA genome. It is transmitted through the respiratory system.
This virus is teratogenic in character which can infect the fetus passing through the placenta. This virus can be detected in the blood after 5 to 7 days of infection.
Its incubation period is about 12 to 23 days. Due to this disease being uncommon these days people have lost immunity to it. Lack of vaccination also becomes a reason to be infected with it.
Rash due to rubella is one of the major symptoms one can notice. It usually doesn’t appear till 14 to 21 days of infection.
The Rash from it is a red rash which usually starts from the neck and a head portion. Other symptoms include fatigue, swollen glands, body pain, pain in the joints or other aches.
Though, these symptoms are more common & identifiable in adults. Itchiness may come along with the Rash. You may also face a runny nose, the pink eye with a headache.
But it is not compulsory to face all these symptoms as many peoples do not see any symptoms. The rubella symptoms are sometimes similar to that of the flu.
As many other viral infectious diseases, Rubella is one of those diseases which do not have a treatment. Immunity to its virus is the best way to stay away from it.
Immunity can only be gained through proper vaccination. MMR vaccine is given to provide protection from it. MMR here stands for Measles Mumps and Rubella.
These are the diseases from which it provides immunity. Two doses of MMR vaccine are recommended for children. First one is at 12 to 15 months of age and the second one at 4 to 6 years of age.
The effectiveness of the MMR vaccine in protecting from German measles is found to be at 97%. Vaccination must also be provided in women who are willing to conceive in the future.
The vaccination cannot be provided while they are pregnant or even a month before they conceive.
Rubella Vs Measles:
One must not confuse rubella with measles. These are two different diseases, though some of their characteristics might be similar.
Measles here is a more severe disease as compared to the former. Measles is a contagious disease caused by a paramyxovirus.
It is an RNA virus. The method or way of communicating this disease is the same as that for rubella. Severe measles can damage the brain and also cause blindness.
Rubella, on the other hand, is not as contagious as Measles. The symptoms for rubella are mild and hard to get as compared to measles.
It lacks a prodromal stage which is present in measles. Lymph nodes get swollen in case of rubella, which is rarely found with measles.
Fever and body temperature is high in the case of measles as compared to German measles. Measles symptoms are longer in duration as compared to rubella.
They both are somewhat similar in characteristics but different too.