Rubella and Pregnancy

What is Rubella and What Causes It?

These days, rubella is a milder infection in children than it used to be (same as measles), thanks to mandatory vaccinations. It's similar to the measles, but it's a different virus altogether.

Rubella is a very serious illness for the unborn. If the mother of an unborn child contracts rubella during the first trimester of her pregnancy, there is a 25 percent chance that the baby will be born with defects, referred to as congenital rubella syndrome. Birth defects can include vision loss or blindness, hearing loss, heart defects, mental and physical retardation, and cerebral palsy. The infection can also cause miscarriage and stillbirth. Later in pregnancy, the risk of contracting congenital rubella syndrome is considered very low.


Rubella Symptoms

Symptoms include rash, swollen glands, joint pain, headache, loss of appetite, slight conjunctivitis, stuffed or runny nose, and sore throat. Yet sometimes there are no symptoms present.

Rubella Vaccine

As with any other viral infection, antibiotics will not be effective in treating rubella. It's best to just let it run its course, especially since its symptoms are so mild. It's important to note that if a pregnant woman suspects that she has contracted this infection, she should get in contact with her obstetrician as soon as possible.

Is Rubella Contagious?

Yes, rubella is contagious; it can be passed through the air from tiny drops of saliva or mucus. The contagious stage lasts from one week before first symptoms appear to one week after they fade. It is also possible to be a carrier of rubella. The best course of action to prevent this infection or the syndrome that stems from it in your child is get them immunized. The vaccine has been around since 1969, and it works. Pregnant women should wait to take this vaccine until one month into their pregnancy. Recovery time is typically one week.

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