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What is Rubella Disease – Causes and Symptoms

Rubella is a contagious infection involving rashes in the skin. The disease is also known as German measles and is common among children. Prior to 1969 when there was no vaccination available, it occurred every 6–9 years in the United States. Between 1962-1965, this virus was responsible for causing nearly 30,000 still births and 20,000 children born with a condition called congenital rubella syndrome. There has been observed cases of epidemic since February 2009 in this country and vaccination has completed stopped the trasmission of this disease. This article tries to understand about the causes and symptoms of this disease in details.

Causes of Rubella Disease: The disease is caused by rubella virus. It spreads through air and multiplies in number in the upper most portion of the pharynx and in the lymph nodes. It takes 5-7 days to spread in the entire body. The virus has the ability to stop the cells in our body from functioning normally and destroy them.

Symptoms of Rubella Disease:

  • Mild fever
  • Red throat
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Malaise
  • Lymph node swelling
  • Fever
  • Anorexia
  • Tiny pink spots
  • Temporary joint stiffness
  • Shivering
  • Tender lymph glands
  • Lassitude
  • Swollen neck lymph glands
  • High fever in rare cases
  • Tender neck lymph glands
  • Pink spots on the neck
  • Bruising
  • Pink spots on face
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Pink spots spreading to body

The virus remains inactive for a period of 14-21 days after entering the body. This period is called the incubation period. The symptoms start apperaing after this period. Though this disease can affect people from any age group, the symptoms are found to be severe in elderly people.

Congenital Rubella Syndrome Symptoms: When rubella disease affects a pragnent women, the baby in the womb can develop serious complications. Some of the signs of this condition technically known as congenital rubella syndrome are:

  • Cataracts
  • Low birth weight
  • Small eyes
  • Retinopathy
  • Small head
  • Pulmonary stenosis
  • Heart malformations
  • Enlarged liver
  • Microcephaly
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Mental retardation
  • Low blood platelet level
  • Progressive hearing loss
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Congenital deafness
  • Hepatosplenomegaly
  • Psychomotor retardation
  • Meningoencephalitis
  • Large anterior fontanelle

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