Rubella infection causes German measles, by Ray Sahelian, M.D. (health and nutrition information)
March 1 2016

Rubella virus usually causes a mild fever and rash in children and adults. However, infection during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, can result in miscarriage, fetal death, stillbirth, or a constellation of congenital malformations known as congenital rubella syndrome.

The World Health Organization has the target by the year 2010 of reducing congenital rubella syndrome to less than 1/100,000 live births, being necessary the control of the virus circulation. Rubella is currently a low-incidence disease, that affected to children in the pre-vaccine era. The excellent measles-mumps-rubella vaccine coverage in children, together with the vaccination campaigns in childbearing age women, leads to get very high protection.

The rubella virus causes "German measles," also known as "three-day measles." This is usually a milder disease than red measles. However, this virus can cause significant birth defects if an infected pregnant woman passes the virus to her unborn child.

Rubella should be considered as an infectious disease to be prevented through vaccination rather than as a disease to be treated. If rubella live vaccine is used appropriately, it is possible not only to prevent children contracting rubella but also to prevent outbreaks of rubella, and to eradicate newborns with congenital rubella syndrome. Rubella outbreaks have been controlled by vaccinations and newborns with congenital rubella syndrome are rarely reported. However, the vaccination coverage against rubella has decreased in recent years, and the reoccurrence of the congenital rubella syndrome has already been reported in some regions.

Diagnosis of Rubella
With the advent of vaccine protection for many diseases, including rubella, many of today's doctors have never seen cases of what were the common childhood diseases. If any of these diseases returns, there is a risk that the practitioner will not recognize it.

Since 1941, when a doctor first described the triad of deafness, cataracts and cardiac disease as the classical clinical manifestations of congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), strong efforts have been implemented around the world to achieve effective preventive strategies.

Clin Microbiol Infect. January 2014. Live rubella virus vaccine long-term persistence as an antigenic trigger of cutaneous granulomas in patients with primary immunodeficiency.