Rubella is a mild and contagious viral infection due to rubella virus. It is characterized by rashes on the skin and enlargement of the lymph nodes. Rubella is common in children ages 5-9, but young people and not immunized adults can be vulnerable to rubella.
The illness is dangerous during pregnancy which can result to fetal infection called congenital rubella syndrome. In this condition transplacental transmission can happen where the virus can be spread from the mother to the baby through the placenta.
Symptoms of rubella
- A low-grade fever which is the defense mechanism of the body against infection, the body heat kills the microorganisms that cause the disease.
- Enlarged lymph node, the back of the neck, behind the ears and the bottom of the skull is tender and a lump can be felt.
- Itchy rashes on the face, trunk and the extremities and on the 3rd day the rashes usually disappears.
- Loss of appetite
- Mild conjunctivitis
- Pain in the joints
- Runny nose
- Get plenty of sleep and bed rest. Get at least 8-10 hours of sleep every day to fight off infections and for fast healing of the condition.
- Increase fluid intake to prevent dehydration and to replace lost fluid during sweating. Drink at least 10 glasses of water every day. Another alternative is drinking herbal teas and eating fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content such as celery, watermelon, tomatoes, beets, melon and grapefruit.
- Apply over-the-counter calamine lotion on the affected areas to lessen itchiness of the rashes at least 3 times every day as needed.
- Increase the intake of Vitamin C by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter medications to lessen the pain and fever. Avoid giving aspirin to children with viral illnesses to prevent development of Reye’s syndrome which is a condition that cause damage to the brain and liver and can be dangerous to children.
- Hyperimmune globulin is given to pregnant women who are exposed to rubella. It helps eliminate the infection and lessen the symptoms. It binds together foreign bodies in the system and makes them incapable of entering or causes damage the healthy cells. It will stimulate the immune system to destroy foreign bodies and marks foreign bodies and can be easily eliminated by the cells of the immune system.
- Prevent rubella by using the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine. This vaccination is given to infants 12-15 months old and the second dose known as the booster is given at 4-6 years of age. It is important to girls to get the vaccine to prevent complications of rubella during pregnancy.