All you Need to Know about Rubella
What is Rubella?
Rubella is a common and contagious disease caused by a virus that infects the nose and throat.
Who is at Risk of Rubella?
Everyone is susceptible to Rubella. Its infection in unvaccinated pregnant women can have serious consequences for the unborn child. Children, adolescents and adults are also at risk.
What are the Symptoms of Rubella?
Rubella is often mild and attacks can pass unnoticed. The most common symptom is spotty, pink red rash that starts on the face and neck and then spreads to the torso. Additional symptoms include:
- Mild fever
- Cold cough and sore throat
- Sore, red eyes
- Swelling of the lymph glands
Older children and adults may experience these additional symptoms before the rash. However, symptoms may not appear at all in 50% of cases.
How do you get Rubella?
The disease is spread
- From a mother to her unborn child via the placenta
- When an infected person coughs or sneezes
What is the Impact of Rubella?
In 2011, 114,452 cases of Rubella were reported globally by the world health organization. This is equivalent to 1 case every 5 minutes.
The greatest impact is for pregnant women where infection during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy can potentially cause birth defects ( heart, lungs and brain) or miscarriage.
85% of infants infected in the first trimester of pregnancy are affected after birth.Up to 70% of adult women also suffer from swollen and painful joints.
How can you Protect Against Rubella?
As recommended by World Health Organization, vaccination is the most effective way to prevent Rubella in adults and children, especially unborn children. in 2006, vaccination programs were estimated to have resulted in a reduction in cases of more than 99%. No cases are observed if the mother has been vaccinated.
If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you should speak to your doctor about your protection against Rubella. The spread of disease can also be prevented by limiting or avoiding contact with infected people.