What is it?
Rubella is a viral infection caused by the rubella virus that mainly affects the skin and lymph nodes
What are the symptoms?
Mild fever, swollen, tender lymph nodes in the back of the neck
A pink rash that starts on the face and spreads downwards over the body
The rash can be itchy and usually lasts for 3 days
Someone who is infected but has no symptoms can still spread the virus
Rubella is a serious medical concern when it infects a pregnant woman
The virus can cause miscarriages, stillbirths and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS)
Symptoms develop 2-3 weeks after exposure to rubella
How can I contract rubella?
You can get rubella if you breathe in the respiratory droplets from an infected person
For example, when someone coughs, sneezes or laughs or if you accidentally transfer viruses from these droplets to your nose, mouth or eyes
Rubella is highly contagious
Where can I contract it?
Rubella occurs worldwide
What vaccines are available?
Children born in Canada receive the rubella vaccine as part of the measles mumps rubella (MMR) immunization
Since 1996 children get 2 doses at age 1 and 5
Adults who did not have the disease in childhood or only got 1 shot as a child can also get the shot
If you are pregnant you should not get the vaccine
How many shots will I need?
In British Columbia, it is recommended that people born after 1956 get 2 doses of the vaccine
Will I need a booster?
Not if you have had 2 shots
How can I prevent rubella?
Immunization is the most effective way of preventing rubella infection
What is the treatment?
Supportive and symptomatic treatment
There is no specific treatment
Stay home for at least a week until the symptoms disappear to avoid infecting other people