Introduction

  • Most common in winter/spring
  • Generally not very severe in children
  • Can causes severe fetal development problems if contracted by a pregnant woman. Spontaneous abortion occurs in 20% of cases
  • Caused by the Rubella Virusand Spread by the respiratory route. Patients are most infective during the prodromal period (i.e. before they know they are infected!)Parents are advised to keep their children off school for 5 days after the onset of the rash.

Clinical features

The incubation period is usually between 15-20 days. During this period there may be a generalised low grade-fever, or no signs at all. The symptomatic disease period is typically short, perhaps only 3 days.
Maculopapular rash – often the first symptoms. Starts on the face, and spreads down over the whole body. Lasts 3-5 days.
  • In children, the rash does not itch
  • In adults, the rash is very itchy

Lymphadenopathy

  • Particularly in the posterior auricular and subocipital nodes.

Complications

Generally rare, but can include:

Diagnosis

Rubella is not a particularly dangerous or significant infection. If there is risk of exposure to a non-immune pregnant woman, then the diagnosis may be confirmed by serology.

Treatment

Once again, there is no specific treatment. Just supportive.

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