Table of contents:
- Symptoms of rubella
- How the diagnosis is made
- Cause of rubella
- Is rubella in pregnancy serious?
- How the treatment is done
- Rubella prevention
Rubella is an infectious disease caused by a virus of the genus Rubivirus that is easily transmitted from person to person through small droplets of saliva, which can end up being distributed in the environment when someone infected with the disease sneezes, coughs or talks., for example.
Symptoms of rubella usually appear up to 21 days after contact with the virus, and it is possible to observe the appearance of small red spots on the skin spread throughout the body, itching and low fever.
There is no specific treatment for rubella and, therefore, the treatment aims to promote symptom relief, as it also does not present serious complications. However, contamination with rubella during pregnancy can be serious and, therefore, if the woman has never had contact with the disease or has never been vaccinated against the disease, she should be vaccinated before becoming pregnant.
Symptoms of rubella
Rubella symptoms usually appear 12 to 21 days after contact with the virus, the main ones being:
- Fever up to 38º C;
- Red spots that initially appear on the face and behind the ear and then move towards the feet, for about 3 days;
- Feeling generally unwell;
- Swollen tongues especially in the neck;
- Red eyes;
- Joint pain, this alteration being rarer in children.
Rubella can affect children and adults and although it can be considered a disease of childhood, it is not common for children under 4 years of age to have the disease. Learn more about rubella symptoms.
How the diagnosis is made
The initial diagnosis of rubella is made by the doctor based on the evaluation of the signs and symptoms presented by the person, in addition to carrying out a blood test to check the presence of IgG and IgM antibodies against rubella.
Usually when you have IgM antibodies it means you have the infection, while the presence of IgG antibodies is more common in those who have had the disease in the past or who are vaccinated. Learn more about the rubella test.
Cause of rubella
Rubella is a disease caused by a virus of the Rubivirus genus that can be transmitted through the inhalation of droplets containing the virus or through direct contact with the infected person, being more common during childhood.
In addition, rubella in children can be a consequence of the mother's infection by the virus during pregnancy, so that the virus can cross the placental barrier to reach the fetus, causing changes according to gestational age.
Is rubella in pregnancy serious?
Although rubella is a relatively common and simple disease in childhood, when it appears during pregnancy it can cause malformations in the baby, especially if the pregnant woman has contact with the virus in the first 3 months.Some of the more common complications that can arise from rubella in pregnancy include autism, deafness, blindness or microcephaly, for example. See other possible complications of rubella in pregnancy.
Thus, it is best that all women are vaccinated during childhood or, at least, 1 month before becoming pregnant, to be protected against the virus.
Congenital rubella syndrome occurs in babies whose mother had contact with the rubella virus during pregnancy and was not treated. The baby's contact with the rubella virus can lead to several consequences, especially with regard to its development, as this virus is capable of causing calcifications in some regions of the brain, in addition to deafness and vision problems, for example.
It is important that the baby with congenital rubella undergoes clinical treatments, surgeries and rehabilitation in childhood to improve their quality of life.In addition, as the disease can be transmitted from person to person through respiratory secretions and urine for up to 1 year, it is recommended that the person be kept away from other children who have not been vaccinated and start attending day care from the first year of life or when doctors indicate that there is no longer any risk of disease transmission.
How the treatment is done
As rubella is a disease that normally does not have serious implications, its treatment consists of relieving symptoms, so it may be recommended by the doctor to take painkillers and fever-controlling medicines, such as Paracetamol and Dipyrone, prescribed. by the doctor. In addition, it is important to rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and to facilitate the elimination of the virus from the body.
In addition to medication, some precautions can also help relieve discomfort during treatment, such as:
- Drink at least 2 liters of water a day;
- Keep rest at home, avoiding going to work or in public places;
- Use a humidifier in the room to make breathing easier, or place a basin with warm water in the room;
Some people may also experience discomfort and a lot of redness in the eyes. In these cases, you should avoid being exposed to direct sunlight, avoid spending too much time in front of the television and apply cold compresses to the eyes.
To prevent rubella, keep vaccination up to date and avoid contact with infected people. The rubella vaccine, also called triple viral vaccine, as it protects against rubella, mumps and measles, is indicated as early as the 1st year of life, and then the booster dose is given between 15 and 24 months.
Women who plan to become pregnant should ask their doctor to take the test that checks for immunity against rubella, and if they are not immune, they should take the vaccine, remembering that it is necessary to wait at least 1 month after the vaccine to get pregnant, and that this vaccine should not be taken during pregnancy.