Rubella is a virus that is transmitted by droplets or direct contact with an object that has been contaminated. The virus is also transmitted to a fetus in utero.
Swollen glands, also referred to as lymphadenopathy, is known to occur in Rubella, particularly in the postauricular, cervical, and suboccipital regions.
Symptoms often resemble cold like symptoms such as runny nose, general malaise and fever.
The rash associated with Rubella has pinpoint, pinkish-red maculopapular that first appears on the face and then spreads to the trunk and extremities within 24 hours, unlike Rubeola (measles) which spreads slower and darkens with time. The rash usually lasts about 3 days; hence the name 3 day measles.
Rubella is associated with a low grade fever and often appears several days before a rash develops. A fever may present at the same time as lymphadenopathy and arthritis in adults.
During pregnancy a titer level is drawn to detect immunity. This is a blood test used to detect antibodies made by the immune system to help kill the rubella virus. A titer of 1:8 IgG antibodies usually indicates immunity.
Children with this virus are advised to avoid all contact with pregnant women due to the virus being teratogenic.
There is no cure for rubella and the best treatment is prevention via vaccine. The vaccine is a two part vaccine for Measles, Mumps and Rubella. The first dose is given between the ages of 12-15 months and the second dose between ages 4-6 years old. This vaccine is usually required prior to enrollment in school.
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