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Not only childhood disease: rubella

Children's age - the time of formation of the body's immune system. It is during this period that a person encounters a majority of infectious diseases. Measles, chicken pox, and mumps is the inevitable fate of any child before vaccination. At the present stage, many of these diseases can affect a person already in adulthood, manifesting unpleasant symptoms. One of these pathologies is rubella. What treatment does a patient need? What preventive measures will avoid infection?


Rubella in children and adults

Rubella for a long time was the lot of only children. Every child in his time necessarily suffered from this infectious disease. With the introduction of a wide range of vaccination, many people began to meet with this pathology in adulthood.

Rubella is an infectious viral disease characterized by the appearance of a specific rash, lymph nodes and a severe course in adults. Rubella pathogen is rubivirus from the family Togaviridae. For a long time, the disease was actually identified with another infectious pathology - measles. For the first time the distinction between these two pathological processes was described in 1829 by the German researcher Wagner.

Rubella virus

Rubella pathogen belongs to rubiviruses

Synonym for disease: German measles.

Rubella has long ceased to be an exclusively childhood disease. But if for many adults, it is in most cases an annoying nuisance, then for pregnant women is a real disaster.


Rubella can occur in several basic forms:

  • typical, in which all the symptoms and periods of the disease are pronounced;
  • erased, characterized by a slight severity of clinical manifestations;
  • asymptomatic, in which all the characteristic signs of rubella are absent.

The last two forms are especially dangerous, since the surrounding people, in the absence of obvious signs of infection, are unaware of the possibility of infection.

Causes and factors of development: how can the virus be transmitted

Rubella virus circulates exclusively among humans. The source of the disease is only a sick person with both a typical form of the disease and unexpressed clinical signs.

The infectious agent is transmitted by airborne droplets through close contact, coughing, sneezing. It must be remembered that a sick person becomes contagious long before the appearance of typical clinical symptoms. It poses a danger to those around him for two whole weeks: ten days before the appearance of the rash and five days after.

Aerosol route of infection

Aerosol path - the main mechanism of rubella infection

The rubella virus has chosen as the place of settlement the most actively dividing cells of the human body: the covering tissue (epithelium) of the upper respiratory tract and the localized structures of the immune system - the lymph nodes.

The lymph nodes

Lymphatic node disease with rubella virus is a typical sign of the disease

Penetrating through the nasopharynx or directly through the skin, the rubella virus quickly settles in these anatomical structures. The vital activity of the cell is on the path of reproduction and assembly of virus particles. As the infectious agent leaves the bloodstream, a total filling of the vessels with the pathogen (viremia) is formed, resulting in a liverhead, spleen, brain, as well as the placenta and fetus in pregnant women.

Circulation of the rubella virus in the skin vessels of the skin causes a rash (exanthema) typical of this disease. Specific rashes can also affect the mucous membranes of the body (enanthema). Reproduction of the virus in the lymph nodes leads to an increase in their size (lymphadenopathy). This type of reaction is logical as the body’s response to the introduction of a foreign agent. However, the lymph nodes act as a barrier for a short time, after which the virus enters the bloodstream and spreads to all organs.

The placenta is not a significant obstacle for the virus. With the flow of blood, the pathogen enters the cells of the fetus. In the early stages, the embryo contains many rapidly dividing anatomical structures. The destructive effect of the virus on these cells leads to various malformations of the fetus.

Intrauterine fetus

The fetus suffers from the devastating effects of the virus.

The first signs of the disease: how long the incubation period lasts

The course of rubella in an adult is in many ways similar to that in children. The clinical picture of the disease is divided into three typical periods.

The incubation period from the moment of infection with the virus to the first signs of the disease is from 10 to 25 days. Symptoms at this time are absent, but the pathogen has already developed the seizure of many tissues of the body.

The first manifestations of rubella mark the beginning of the catarrhal period. At this time, the disease is no different from the common cold and is characterized by the appearance of the following symptoms:

  • general malaise;
  • weakness;
  • aching joints and muscles;
  • redness of the conjunctiva of the eyeballs;
  • nasal congestion;
  • sore throat;
  • coughing and sneezing;
  • fever.

At this stage, the virus is actively released into the external environment, and the patient poses a significant danger to others. The catarrhal period in adults has a greater duration and severity of the clinical picture.

Catarrhal period

Coughing, sneezing, sore throat - the main signs of a catarrhal period of rubella

What a rash looks like

Nonspecific symptoms of the disease after a few days are replaced by a typical rash (rash). The latter is a collection of red flat spots of regular round shape, spreading rapidly from the face and neck to the entire skin of the trunk and extremities. Sometimes the rash is accompanied by itching of varying intensity. In adult patients, red spots are prone to fusion and the formation of extensive fields of the affected skin. Within 4 days the rash disappears without a trace.

Rubella rash

Rubella rash - a typical sign of the height of the disease

Other possible manifestations

Against the background of a rash, inflammation of the joints (arthritis), nausea and vomiting can occur. Swollen lymph nodes occur in stages and very slowly. In some cases, lymphadenopathy in adults may not develop at all. In pregnant women, the disease is characterized by similar symptoms.


Inflammation of the joints often occurs with rubella

In adult patients, the virus can affect the nervous tissue of the brain with the formation of meningitis and meningoencephalitis and the development of associated symptoms:

  • painful headache;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • stiff neck;
  • muscle tone disorders;
  • skin sensitivity disorder;
  • meningeal symptoms.

Clinical aspects of rubella - video


To establish the correct diagnosis, the following measures are necessary:

  • questioning and examination of the patient. Allows you to determine the regular staging of the disease and to identify a typical spotted rash;
  • neurological examination. Allows you to identify a violation of muscle tone and disorder of skin sensitivity;
    Neurological examination

    Neurological examination reveals symptoms of brain damage.

  • general blood analysis. There is a decrease in white immune blood cells;
  • determination of antibodies in the blood. It is carried out twice with an interval of several days. Large proteins from the class of immunoglobulins M speak about the first meeting with the rubella virus, and the increase in their number in dynamics indicates a flowing acute form of the disease. Antibodies smaller, belonging to the class G, are witnesses of the disease or contact with a vaccine virus transferred in the past;

    Antibodies - witnesses of the transferred disease

  • computed tomography (magnetic resonance imaging). Allows you to study in detail the structure of the brain with the appearance of neurological symptoms of the disease.

The differential diagnosis is carried out with the following diseases:

  • measles;
  • scarlet fever;
  • allergic reactions;
  • enterovirus infection.

How to treat a disease

Rubella treatment is carried out under the supervision of an infectious diseases specialist on an outpatient basis. Severe course of the disease may require hospitalization in the specialized department of the hospital.

Drug treatment

In the catarrhal period, various drugs are used to alleviate the symptoms.

Medications for treating the symptoms of the catarrhal period of rubella - table

Drug name Active substance Mechanism of action Release form
Xylen xylometazoline vasoconstrictor
  • nasal spray;
  • nasal drops.
  • dimetinden;
  • phenylephrine.
  • nasal spray;
  • nasal drops;
  • nasal gel
Sanorin naphazoline nasal drops
Nasol Advance oxymetazoline
  • amylmetacresol; dichlorobenzyl alcohol.
local antiseptic lozenges
Tantum Verde benzydamine
  • solution for local use;
  • lozenges;
  • spray for local use.
  • camphor;
  • chlorbutanol;
  • eucalyptus oil.
aerosol for topical use
Faringosept ambazon lozenges
Furacilin nitrofural topical solution
Loratadine loratadine antihistamine pills
Tavegil clemastine
Cetirizine cetirizine
  • pills;
  • drops for ingestion.
Bromhexine bromhexine expectorant pills
ACC acetylcysteine
  • syrup;
  • granules for solution preparation.
Echinacea Echinacea narrow-leaved extract immunomodulatory
  • tincture;
  • pills.

Rubella Treatment - Photo Gallery

Folk remedies for home use

With the permission of the physician, the following recipes for traditional medicine are used in rubella therapy:

  1. Lingonberry and wild rose. For the preparation of vitamin tea, mix the fruits of plants in equal parts and brew. Apply the remedy three times a day.
  2. Rosehip and black currant. From the fruits of plants to make tea as described above. Apply three times a day.
  3. Lingonberry, tutsan. Mix one tablespoon of the herb St. John's wort and cranberries, pour the resulting raw material with three glasses of water and simmer on the fire for 10 minutes. Broth to take a quarter cup four times a day.

Rubella Treatment Plants - Photo Gallery

Related recommendations: whether to wash

Bed rest is required only in case of severe condition of the patient. Isolation of a sick person is carried out until the fifth day after the onset of the rash. To take a shower in a stable condition and in the absence of fever is not contraindicated.

Forecast, consequences and complications for men and women

The disease in adult men and women, as a rule, proceeds favorably. The most dangerous rubella for the fetus. In the first trimester of pregnancy, infection of the embryo with a virus leads to malformations in more than half of the cases. With the increase of the term, this probability decreases progressively. When diagnosed with rubella in the mother in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, a medical abortion is recommended. The possibility of conceiving a child does not affect the transferred illness in both men and women.

Among other complications, viral pneumonia and meningoencephalitis are the most important.

Prevention: vaccination, who should not be vaccinated

The main way to prevent the disease is the introduction of a vaccine. This drug contains a live, attenuated form of the rubella virus. The scheme of vaccination in different cases may vary.

Adults who have received the vaccine at the age of one and six years old re-vaccinated at the age of 15-17 and 25-27 years old. For women of childbearing age, artificially created anti-feather immunity is vital. Protective antibodies circulate in the blood for 10 years.


Vaccination - the main measure of rubella prevention

After 39 years, vaccination is not carried out.

In the case of contact with an infected person, everyone who had not had rubella or had not received revaccination immediately takes root from his surroundings.

Contraindications for vaccine administration are:

  • pregnancy;
  • breast-feeding;
  • immunodeficiency states;
  • chemotherapy treatment for cancer.

After administration of the vaccine, various manifestations may occur. A localized allergic reaction may develop at the injection site in the form of itching and reddening of the skin area. Among the common symptoms are:

  • malaise;
  • temperature rise;
  • spotted rash;
  • nausea and vomiting.

However, it should be noted that such phenomena are observed in rare cases.

Rubella is a serious disease common among children and adults, which is fraught with the development of complications. Vaccinal prophylaxis is the basis for resisting infection with the virus and protecting the fetus from harmful effects.


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