Rubella: Symptoms, treatment and vaccination

Measles (rubella) are typically a childhood disease, afflicting mainly children under five years. For children, rubella is usually not dangerous - in pregnant women but the viral infection can damage the unborn child.

To detect rubella!

Rubella often run without the typical signs of disease, such as red spots and swollen lymph nodes - which makes the disease difficult to see. Only about half of the affected children, the typical rash shows at all. The other half complains most about slight headache and body aches. May experience a slight cough and red eyes (conjunctivitis) in accompaniment to - thus the rubella often resemble only a slight cold. The other half of the affected children, the typical measles rash shows: It begins with a redness of the skin behind the ears and the facial skin and then spreads over the entire body.

Rubella - So the rash looks

Small, red spots are typical of rubella

© CDC via Wikimedia Commons

Other symptoms of rubella may include:

• Swollen lymph nodes
• Light fever
• A headache
• Body aches
• conjunctivitis
• To cough

The rubella rash shows up in the form of small, bright red spots, which are often poorly recognized. They are smaller than the rash of measles, the individual spots do not merge. With rubella-infected children usually do no, if at all, a very mild itching. After two to three days, the spots are often disappeared again.
For the uninitiated, the disease is not easily diagnosed, your pediatrician is decisive but not confused with other diseases such as scarlet fever or measles.


In babies and children rashes are not uncommon. But what does the young, exactly? We give a little help.

Infection with rubella

Rubella in children

Rubella: The rash is not a must!

© CDC via Wikimedia Commons

Rubella is highly contagious, as the rubella virus is transmitted by droplet infection classic, i by sneezing, coughing or speaking. The viruses sit on the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat tight, then from there into the bloodstream and spread to the entire body.
The incubation period (= Time from infection to the onset of the disease) is long: It was only two to three weeks after infection with the virus, the first signs of disease appear. Contagious but the disease is already a week before the rash flourishes. And even if the stains are gone and the child looks completely healthy again, rubella are still a few days contagious.

The infection takes about a week, then you are a life sentence immune to the rubella virus. Although the disease usually has no symptoms, the patients have followed a lifelong protection against rubella.

For children usually harmless, dangerous for pregnant women

When running children rubella more abundantly completely complications from, often the disease is not even noticed. But the older the patients are, the more unpleasant the infection: In adolescents and adults headache and swollen lymph nodes may occur in other body regions. The Rötelinfektion can also lead to heart problems, a lung or even a brain inflammation. In girls from the onset of puberty and in women, the infection can cause joint pain and inflammation with it.

Especially pregnant women are at risk: A rubella infection can be passed through the placenta to the fetus and cause severe birth defects and heart damage, to miscarriages. At the beginning of pregnancy the woman's doctor will determine over the so-called German measles titers whether an immunity to rubella present. If you have a pregnant contact with an infected person, the doctor can perform a passive immunization. It is best to leave already test for fertility if you are immune to rubella. ➤ For more information on rubella in pregnancy is available here:

What helps rubella?

Since most children do not feel really ill treatment of rubella is not a problem. As with other viruses, only the side effects such as headache, cough or fever can be treated with the rubella virus. Fever and pain you can alleviate with ibuprofen or acetaminophen, pain killers with acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) are not suitable for children under 14 years, it can lead to life-threatening Reye's syndrome.
Since an infection during pregnancy can have life-threatening consequences for the unborn child, your child should avoid contact with other people, especially pregnant women during the illness.
Protection against rubella

The surest protection against measles is vaccination. The permanent Committee on Vaccination at the Robert Koch Institute (Stiko) recommends vaccination for all children, especially girls. The first combined vaccination, which should take place between the 11th and 14th month, also protects against mumps and measles. Recently there is vaccination as a quadruple vaccination with additional protection against chickenpox. After a booster (not earlier than four weeks after the first vaccination and at least the second birthday) is life-long protection. The vaccine can be made up in unvaccinated adults at any time. If you have your child vaccinated against rubella, you can help ensure that pregnant women and their unborn babies are not endangered.

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