Rubella is a viral disease that mainly affects children between six months and two years of life. It is a contagious disease characterized by a high fever and a rash that develops when the fever subsides. The complications of rubella are different and it is good to know and prevent them.
This disease is also known as a sudden rash, sixth disease, or roseola infantum. We talk about it in detail in the following lines.
Rubella Signs and Symptoms
After coming into contact with the virus, symptoms of infection usually appear within a week or two. Similarly, it is possible to get rubella and experience symptoms that are too mild to be easily noticed. In most cases, the symptoms that we describe below occur.
Rubella fever lasts for 3 to 5 days and is followed by a rash that lasts from several hours to days. Typically, rubella begins with a sudden high fever, often above 39.4 ° C.
During a fever or shortly before, some children may also have a slight sore throat, runny nose, or cough. After a fever, the lymph nodes in the neck can become inflamed.
Although not always, a rash often occurs once the fever subsides. Specifically, many pink spots or small bubbles appear, generally flat, but sometimes they can be raised.
The rash appears on the chest, back, and abdomen, and then spreads to the neck and arms. Sometimes it can even reach the legs and face.
The rash, which does not itch or discomfort, can last from several hours to several days before disappearing. Other signs and symptoms can be:
- Irritability in infants and children.
- Mild diarrhea.
- Decreased appetite.
- Swollen eyelids.
Can rubella be prevented?
Rubella is contagious. The infection is transmitted when the affected child talks, sneezes or coughs, expelling infected drops into the air that other people can inhale.
The drops can also settle on the surrounding surfaces ; if we touch them and then put our hands to the mouth or nose, contagion can occur.
This disease is contagious even in the high fever stage, but it is no longer contagious when the rash appears.
There is no way to prevent rubella, but it is believed that a rubella episode in childhood can provide some long-lasting immunity. It can be contracted several times, but it is rare.
How is rubella diagnosed?
To make the diagnosis, the doctor will process the patient’s medical history and analyze it. In any case, the diagnosis is not clear until the fever subsides and the rash appears. At that time, the doctor may order tests to ascertain that the fever was not related to an infection of a different nature.
The treatment is aimed at lowering the high fever. Antibiotics are not used to cure it, because it is caused by a virus and not by a bacterium.
Complications of rubella
Among the possible complications of rubella we mention:
Convulsions in children among the complications of rubella
The child with rubella may have seizures caused by the rapid rise in body temperature. If this happens, the little one may lose consciousness and sharply shake the body. It can also temporarily lose bladder and bowel control. Seizures due to fever in healthy young children are usually short-lived and sometimes harmful.
However, it must be said that rubella complications are infrequent. Most healthy children and adults recover quickly and completely from the disease.
Complications of rubella: weakened immune system
People with weakened immune systems are at risk of getting rubella more than once or more seriously. Because they have less resistance to viruses in general, they tend to develop more severe infections, making it more difficult to fight the disease.