What disease has the name German measles ?


German measles is another names for rubella. It is also called 3-day measles. This contagious infection commonly affects the lymph nodes and is characterized by a distinctive red rash.


NOTE that rubella is not the same as rubeola ( measles ).


What causes rubella ?


It is caused by a virus. This virus spreads when you come into close contact with an infected person’s respiratory secretions such as mucus or when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

A pregnant mum can transmit the virus to her unborn child through the blood stream.


What are the symptoms of rubella ?


About half the people who have rubella do not show any symptoms. Children usually experience mild symptoms in the form of low-grade fever and rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.


Older children and adults may experience these symptoms.


  • runny nose before symptoms appear
  • headache
  • malaise
  • aching joint
  • eye inflammation


Can rubella be treated ?


There is no treatment needed for rubella. It is a mild illness that runs its course in about three days. To treat  the fever, you may take acetaminophen. You should also avoid contact with people who have conditions that cause deficient or suppressed immune systems.

It is essential to get enough rest.


Defects associated with congenital rubella syndrome can be treated.


Are there any preventive measures for rubella ?


The best and effective way to prevent rubella is being vaccinated
against it with MMR vaccine. The vaccine is given in 2 doses at these ages


  • between 12 and 15 months
  • between 4 and 6 years old. The second dose can be given at any time as long as it’s at least 28 days after the first.

Content Sources

Rubella (German Measles, Three-Day Measles). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC. Accessed June 13, 2014
Rubella – German Measles . The Nemours Foundation. http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/german_measles.html. Accessed June 13, 2014
Rubella. National Library of Medicine. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001608.htm. Accessed June 13, 2014

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