Lightning Learning: Rubella (aka German Measles)
Fortunately, the rates of Rubella in the UK have remained low with only 3 cases in 2018.1 In 2018 the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported 14,612 cases in total – worldwide.
Currently, up until June 2019 there have been 27,040 cases, nearly 50% more than the whole of 2018.2
Rubella protection is part of the MMR vaccine. Children in the UK have MMR vaccines at 12 months and 3 years 4 months.3
1st MMR vaccine is 97% effective at preventing Rubella. Whilst completing the course of 2 increases this to 99%.4
The incubation period is 14-18 days (range 12-23 days). Rubella is transmitted by inhalation of large particle aerosols.5
Maculopapular rash and minimal systemic symptoms. Exanthems are pinpoint, pink maculopapules.
Appearing on the face first, then spreading caudally to trunk and extremities. Becomes generalised over 24 hours and lasts about 3 days.
Arthritis and arthralgias can occur concurrently and may persist for up to a month.
- Post-infectious encephalitis in 1/6000 cases. This is more common in teenagers & adults. Usually 1 week following exanthem.
- Progressive rubella panencephalitis (Rare)
- Congenital Rubella syndrome in the foetus in the pregnant patient.