What is German measles?
German measles is a mild infectious illness
caused by the rubella virus, which is why it is sometimes called
rubella. There is no connection between German measles and measles,
which is caused by a different virus.
What causes German measles?
German measles is caused by a virus, and is
spread by fine droplets of moisture, which contain the virus. The
droplets are produced when the infected person coughs, sneezes or
even talks and another person then inhales these droplets and may
What are the symptoms of German measles?
Symptoms of German measles can include any of
- Slight fever sometimes accompanied by a runny
- Swollen glands behind the ears and around
- Loss of appetite.
- Sore throat.
- Rash that starts on the face and then spreads
to the body. This rash usually lasts for about 3 days.
How contagious is German measles?
German measles is contagious and will require an incubation period of 14-21 days. German measles
is most contagious before the rash appears and then for about 5
What are the effects of German measles?
German measles usually causes no long term complications
and once you have had German measles you will not get it again.
However, the biggest danger is if a pregnant woman develops German
measles, as there is a strong possibility that the child will be
born with birth defects (e.g. blindness or heart defects).
What treatment is available for German measles?
Children with German measles will not require
any medical treatment, as it gets better on its own. You can give
your child paracetamol liquid to relieve symptoms of pain and fever,
ask your pharmacist for advice. You should however phone and tell
your doctor that your child has German measles, he/she will then
decide if they need to see the child.
If you are pregnant and you get German measles
you should visit your doctor immediately.
How can I prevent catching German
If you are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant,
you should consult your doctor to confirm that you are protected
against German measles.
An injection for German measles is normally
given to babies between 12-15 months, along with a vaccine for mumps and measles (known as M.M.R.). A booster is then given before the
child starts school.