Rubella virus also known as German measles is a viral contagious disease with mild constitutional symptoms but which may result in abortion, still born, or congenital defects in infants born to mother who were infected during the early months of pregnancy "Rubella Virus: German Measles Symptoms".

Causative Agent:

It is caused by a virus which is present in the blood stream (Viraemia)


It tends to occur in the epidemics


Any age may be affected bit it is rare in children that are under six(6) years of age. If you are attacked once by this virus you will have lifelong immunity hence the chances of second attack is rare.

Reservoir of Infection:

Man is the reservoir of the infection

Mode of transmission:

It is spread by direct contact, droplet infection

Portal of Entry

Nose and Mouth

Incubation Period

The incubation period for Rubella virus is between 14 to 21 days


"Rubella Virus: German Measles Symptoms"


German Measles Symptoms (Clinical Features)

You will often experience mild fever, headache, malaise and slight sore throat at the onset of the condition. The rash will appear on the 1st or 2nd day.

  • Characteristics of the rash: The rash starts from the face and then it will spread to the trunk and limbs. It consist of numerous rose-pink measles which are smaller less raised and lighter in color than the spots of the measles. It normally lasts between 1 to 3 days and then leaves very little staining.
  • Enlargement of your lymph glands: There is also enlargement of the lymph glands most especially those that are situated in your neck over the mastoid process and in the occipital region. The enlargement is slight and the glands feels firm and shortly. They are rarely painful and never suppurate. You may complain of joint pains if you are an adult.

"Rubella Virus: German Measles Symptoms"

Diagnosis of Rubella Virus (German Measles)

You have to distinguish the rash from that of measles and scarlet fever. When you have catarrh and koplaks spots, this excludes measles. Changes in your throat and tongue are characteristics of the presence and absence of scarlet fever.

Confirmatory diagnosis can be made by isolating the virus or by testing your serum, at the onset and again a week later for Hi antibody against rubella virus. Blood culture can also be carried out.

A clinical diagnosis of congenital rubella is confirmed by finding rubella antibody in your child's serum between the age of 6 months and the fourth birth day.

Differential Diagnosis:

Measles, Scarlet fever


"Rubella Virus: German Measles Symptoms"



The following treatment strategies are recommended by Medical personnel

  • You (the patient) need bed rest due to malaise and fever
  • Sedative is needed for good sleep and rest
  • Anti-histamine is needed to stop itching
  • Antipyretics is necessary in order to control fever
  • Calamine lotion is also important for stop skin irritation
  • To prevent further infections and treatment of complication, antibiotics is required
  • Vitamin supplement is required to aid healing
  • Vitamin complex is necessary to increase appetite
  • Immunoglobin (1.5mg) is necessary for you if you are pregnant (for pregnant women) during the first 40 weeks of gestation.

"Rubella Virus: German Measles Symptoms"

Nursing Care

The aim of nursing care is to prevent complication and promote comfort. Below are the nursing management strategies to be taken by a nurse while handling a patient in this condition

  • Maintain isolation from the time rubella is diagnosed until 7 days
  • You will be nursed in a well ventilated room void of infection, with a conducive environment for bed rest
  • Vital signs are monitored 4-hourly
  • Antipyretic and other drugs will be given to you (the patient) as ordered
  • Apply soothing lotion to the skin reduce itching e.g. calamine lotion


  • Take small digestible food in order to stimulate appetite
  • Maintain hydration by taking in fluids
  • Watch out for any complications

NB: Uninfected and unimmunized children should undergo immunization process against measles virus


"Rubella Virus: German Measles Symptoms"



Encephalitis, Congenital deformity is likely to result if you are infected while pregnant during the 1st trimester


  • Active immunization with a life attenuated virus.
  • Vaccinate young girls between 11-14 years of age
  • Passive immunization with Human Immune Globulin is necessary


It is best if there is no complication




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