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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Rubella

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Rubella is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Rubella is also called German measles or three-day measles. Rubella affects both children and adults. Humans are the only source of infection, and there is no known animal reservoir.

  • Transmission and Symptoms
  • Complications and Incidence
  • Vaccine and Possible Side-effects

Transmission

Rubella is caused by a virus in the respiratory secretions of infected persons and spread through coughing or sneezing.

Symptoms

  • Rash
  • Mild fever (Less than 101° F)
  • Symptoms usually last between 2 to 3 days
  • Adults and older children may also develop swollen glands including symptoms like a cold before the rash appears

Complications

A pregnant woman who develops Congenital Rubella Syndrome shows the following birth defects:

  • Deafness
  • Cataracts
  • Heart defects
  • Mental retardation
  • Liver and spleen damage

Incidence

  • 4 confirmed cases of Rubella in Florida residents since 2003
  • 2 were acquired outside of the US
  • 2 were acquired in Florida

Vaccination

The MMR vaccine is the best way to prevent rubella. The vaccine is included in the combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccines. Two (2) doses of MMR vaccine are recommended to prevent the disease.

Possible Side-effects

  • Fever (up to 1 person out of 6)
  • Mild rash (about 1 person out of 20)
  • Swelling of glands in the cheeks or neck (about 1 person out of 75)