Rubella is a viral illness that spreads easily. After you have had rubella, you will not get sick with it again.
Rubella is caused by a virus. It is passed from person to person through tiny droplets in the air.
Factors that may increase your risk of rubella include:
- Never having the condition
- Never receiving an immunization for rubella
Symptoms are usually mild and include:
- Red, spotty rash all over the body
- Fatigue, low energy, and discomfort
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Flushed face
- Red throat that is not sore
- Achy joints and arthritis, especially in adults
Upper respiratory symptoms and fatigue occur first, followed by the rash.
Babies whose mothers have rubella during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, can be born with severe birth defects known as congenital rubella syndrome, which can cause:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Rubella is confirmed by blood tests.
There is no treatment for rubella. To help make you more comfortable, your doctor may advise acetaminophen.
The rubella vaccine is often given as a combination vaccine with:
The regular schedule for giving the vaccine is at age 12-15 months and again at age 4-6 years. If you or your child has never been vaccinated against rubella, talk to the doctor.
Women who are not sure if they have been vaccinated should be tested. This is very important if they are in occupations with high risk of exposure to rubella, such as:
- Healthcare workers
- Childcare workers
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013 -
- Update Date: 06/06/2013 -