Rubella (German measles)
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defects or miscarriage.
What is congenital rubella syndrome?
infected with rubella during the first ten weeks of their pregnancy.
Congenital rubella syndrome can cause a miscarriage or birth defects including heart defects,
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of rubella may include a mild fever, rash, runny nose, conjunctivitis and often
(thrombocytopenia) which can cause bleeding, or by encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
How is it spread?
Rubella is spread from an infected person by droplets from the nose or mouth or by direct
usually infectious from seven days before the rash occurs until four days later.
Who is at risk?
Anybody who is not immune (either from past infection or vaccination) is at risk of rubella.
contact with non-immune people.
The best protection against rubella is through vaccination with MMR vaccine, which protects
MMR vaccine should be given to children when they are 12 months and MMRV at 18 months of
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While many older adults are immune to rubella because they have been vaccinated or infected as
very important for women (and men) of child bearing age to reduce the chance of pregnant
women coming into contact with, and contracting, rubella infection.
rubella. Women planning a pregnancy should have a blood test, which can be done by their local
doctor, to check that they are protected against rubella. A Rubella containing vaccine should
not be given to pregnant women, and pregnancy should be avoided for one month
How is it diagnosed?
Rubella can be difficult to diagnose because there are many other viruses that cause similar illnesses with
How is it treated?
Treatment for symptoms of rubella include, rest and plenty of fluids.
Pregnant women who have come in contact with a case of rubella should call their doctor for advice.
are tracked to monitor the impact of the immunisation program, and to identify outbreaks.
For further information please call your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 or visit the New South