German measles

Rubella virus that causes German measles is spread most often by droplets of fluid from the mucous membranes that contain the virus. An infected person can spread the virus through droplets of fluid during coughing, sneezing, speaking or by food or beverages to the community thus infecting, unvaccinated people, with German measles.

The virus causes the infection by contact with a contaminated surface of drops of fluid, and then reaching areas of the eyes, nose or mouth without washing hands in advance. Unusual, and contamination can occur through contact with infected blood, the level of skin lesions, or wash hands unless the affected areas immediately.




Typical symptoms of rubella are:

  • A rash (exanthema) minor
  • Swelling and tenderness to palpation of lymph (behind the ears and occipital, the posterior head)
  • Moderate fever.

Sometimes it may occur, especially in teenage and young women, joint pain (arthritis), especially in the small joints of the hands. Joint pain (more common in women) can take more than one months to disappear. Enlargement of lymph in the neck is common to many viral diseases, in case of rubella ganglia most frequently affected are those located behind the ear and the occipital.

Sometimes your skin rash is the only symptom of rubella that appears at children. Older children and teenagers, suffering from German measles, may have fever, eye pain, a sore throat and malaise, may or may not appear Rashes.

Symptoms of German measles, especially pain and swelling of the joints, are more common in adults than in children.

German measles specific skin rash is minor, begins on the face and spreads to the neck and thorax (chest) and then all over. At the beginning it may be a diffuse redness. It also met a form of rubella without skin rash. Even if your rash isn’t present the disease is still contagious.

A complication may occur to German measles, complication materialized brain infections (encephalitis). It is a rare but very serious complication. One in five patients forming dies encephalitis.

Fetal German measles infection in the first trimester is a risk for spontaneous abortion, fetal death and congenital defects of the fetus. More than 90% of fetuses infected during the first 11 weeks of pregnancy develop congenital rubella syndrome. This syndrome can cause severe birth defects.

Hearing impaired are the most common, although cataracts, glaucoma and other eye problems, heart defects, brain disorders, mental retardation and mental (growth arrest) and bone disease may also appear.

Other diseases and viral diseases can cause similar symptoms and rash as German measles. For these reasons, German measles can be confused with:

  • mild scarlet fever, a disease that is most frequent in children between 2 and 10 years, who had not long ago angina (red neck)
  • measles, which is also called red measles or measles
  • Fifth disease, a contagious disease and usually mild viral disease that occurs in children
  • chicken pox, a mild viral disease that affects young children, usually begins with high fever 39.4 C to 40.6 C which lasts 2-3 days
  • infectious mononucleosis, viral disease caused by Epstein Barr virus in most cases, mononucleosis is most common in young adults between 15 and 24 years
  • allergic reactions to medicines

By examining blood from a patient with German measles antibodies against German measles virus is identified. This information can help your doctor identify if it:

  • is a recent infection caused by rubella virus
  • is a previous immunization through vaccination or if the disease existed in history.

Sometimes it is a viral culture, which can identify if the current infection is caused by German measles virus. However, results are obtained in a few weeks.


German measles in children and adults


If children or adults were not immunized and German measles is suspected, blood tests will be made to identify antibodies and to confirm the diagnosis.

It can be diagnosed without examination of blood, if it is known that there was no history of disease. This happens when there are symptoms of disease or no contact with a person with confirmed diagnosis of German measles.


German measles in pregnant women


If there was exposure to German measles immunization and disease has not occurred, it is recommended injection of immunoglobulin. Immune globulins not prevent rubella infection, but can reduce symptoms and may decrease the risk of congenital defects. This examination of blood will be repeated every 2-3 weeks. If the results are negative, the test will be repeated again after 6 weeks of initial exposure, to ensure the absence of infection.


German measles in newborns


A child born with birth defects that suggest infection with German measles will be examined immediately. Diagnosis is made available to newborn by physical examination and medical history of the mother, including prenatal care. If the diagnosis of congenital rubella syndrome is present, preventing the transmission of the disease and others in the hospital.

Some countries are testing all newborns for hearing defects, the most common defect that is associated with German measles. If you identify this defect further investigation must be done. This is medical help, if you need to look for other birth defects and signs of congenital rubella in children.