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Diseases & Topics

Rubella (German Measles)

Rubella, also known as German measles or three-day measles, is a vaccine-preventable, contagious viral infection. Rubella causes a red rash and fever similar to "regular" measles (sometimes called rubeola), but is caused by a different virus. The infection is usually spread from person to person through sneezing or coughing.

Rubella is usually mild in children, but for adults — especially pregnant women — rubella can cause serious consequences, including encephalitis. It is also dangerous for a fetus. Rubella infection during a woman's pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks, can lead to miscarriage, premature delivery or serious birth defects in the baby.

To prevent transmission to pregnant women and other vulnerable people, it is especially important for all children to be immunized on schedule with the MMR vaccine, which provides protection against three highly communicable diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella.

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