LIFESTYLE NEWS - Rubella, sometimes called German measles or three-day measles, is a contagious disease caused by a virus.
The infection is usually mild with fever and rash.
Rubella usually causes the following symptoms in children:
• Rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body
• Low fever
These symptoms last two or three days.
Older children and adults may also have swollen glands and symptoms like a cold before the rash appears. Aching joints occur in many cases, especially among young women.
If rubella is acquired by a pregnant woman, birth defects include: deafness, cataracts, heart defects, mental retardation and liver and spleen damage (there is at least a 20% chance of damage to the foetus if a woman is infected early in pregnancy).
Rubella is spread by contact with an infected person, through coughing and sneezing
The rubella vaccine (contained in MMR vaccine) can prevent this disease.
Children should get two doses of MMR vaccine:
• The first dose at 12 to15 months of age
• The second dose at four to six years of age
These are the recommended ages. But children can get the second dose at any age, as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.
As an adult, do I need this vaccine?
You do NOT need the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR) if:
• You have had blood tests that show you are immune to measles, mumps and rubella.
• You are a man born before 1957.
• You are a woman born before 1957 who is sure she will not have more children, has already had the rubella vaccine, or has had a positive rubella test.
• You already had two doses of MMR or one dose of MMR plus a second dose of measles vaccine.
• You already had one dose of MMR and are not at high risk of measles or mumps exposure.
This article is for informative purposes only. Please be advised to see your doctor if you have any queries or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.