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Rubella (German Measles)

Rubella, also called German measles, is an acute viral disease that causes fever and rash.

Symptoms and Complications

The disease causes rash and fever for two to three days. It is a mild disease in children and young adults. If acquired by a pregnant woman, it may cause birth defects such as deafness, cataracts, heart defects, mental retardation, and liver and spleen damage. At least a 20% chance of damage to the fetus if a woman is infected early in pregnancy.


The disease is spread by contact with an infected person, through coughing and sneezing.


Rubella vaccine (contained in MMR vaccine) can prevent this disease.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA.