Disease Surveillance Epidemiology Program

Vaccine-preventable Diseases - Rubella (German Measles)

General Information

Rubella (German Measles) is an infection caused by the rubella virus. It is spread by mucus or droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person, usually when a person coughs or sneezes. Children with rubella usually break out in a rash, which starts on the face and moves down the body. Older children and adults usually suffer first from a fever, swollen glands, and upper respiratory infection before they develop a rash. Rubella infection in the first trimester of pregnancy can lead to fetal death, premature delivery and serious birth defects.

Children can be vaccinated for rubella and should be given either the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine or Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella (MMRV) vaccine. Please see the vaccine information statement (VIS) below.

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