Rubella: Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment

Rubella is a contagious viral infection that causes a red rash. It is also known as German measles or three-day measles and typically causes mild or even unnoticeable symptoms. Before the immunization became available in 1996, rubella epidemics frequently occurred among children. Today, rubella is most common in young adults who have not received the rubella immunization.

Rubella can be especially problematic in pregnant women. Rubella in pregnant women can cause congenital rubella syndrome, which can be potentially fatal to the unborn fetus. Children who get rubella before birth are at risk for growth problems, intellectual disability, and defects of the heart and eyes, and other health problems.

Symptoms of Rubella

RubellaSigns and symptoms of rubella are typically mild, if noticeable at all. If symptoms of rubella do occur, they can include:

  • A rash that begins on the face and quickly spreads to the body then arms and legs, then quickly disappears
  • Mild fever
  • Headache
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Inflamed, red eyes
  • Enlarged, tender lymph nodes

There is no treatment for rubella that will shorten the duration of the infection, and symptoms are typically so mild that they do not require treatment. If you are pregnant and contract rubella, you should speak with a medical professional about the risks to your baby.

FastMed Urgent Care has medical professionals available 7 days a week to attend to all of your medical needs. If you are experiencing the symptoms of rubella and are pregnant, you can stop by any FastMed location to speak with a medical professional. For any other medical questions, check out our Health Resources Center.

The content presented on this page is not intended to diagnose health problems or take the place of professional medical care.