Rubella, also known as German measles, is a childhood viral illness that causes a skin rash. It is caused by the rubivirus. Rubella is spread through direct contact with discharge from the nose or throat of an infected individual. It can be prevented with the rubella vaccine, which is given in combination with the mumps and measles vaccine (MMR). Rubella is a much milder infection than measles (rubeola).
The rash of rubella is characterized as fine and pink and begins on the face before spreading to the trunk, arms, and legs. Accompanying symptoms of measles may be fever, headache, nasal congestion, and enlarged, tender lymph nodes. There is no cure for rubella infection and treatment rest, increased fluid intake, and acetaminophen for fever/aches. Children with rubella should not come into contact with pregnant due to the risk of congenital rubella, which can have complications such as cataracts, mental retardation, enlarged liver and spleen, and bleeding problems.