Common questions about rubella

What is rubella?

Rubella is an infection caused by a virus. The infection can result in painful, swollen joints and, in very rare cases, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and bleeding disorders.

Learn more about Rubella

What causes rubella?

Rubella is an infection caused by a virus. Rubella can be easily spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Direct contact with an infected person can also spread rubella. Children can also become infected if they rub their eyes or mouths after touching toys or other items that someone with rubella has touched.

Learn more about Rubella

What are the symptoms of rubella?

The first symptoms of rubella include fever, swollen glands and, in some cases, a rash. The rash, which may be itchy, begins on the face and then moves downwards from head to foot, and lasts about three days.

Learn more about Rubella

What can happen to my child if he or she gets rubella?

Your child could suffer from swollen joints and, in very rare cases, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and a bleeding disorder. Along with the hazards your child faces from rubella, the disease can have tragic consequences for unborn babies. Pregnant women exposed to rubella early in their pregnancy could have a miscarriage, or her child could be born deaf, blind or with heart or brain damage.

Learn more about Rubella

Is there a treatment or cure for rubella?

There is no cure for rubella.

Learn more about Rubella

What is the name of the immunization that includes protection against rubella?

The MMRV vaccine will prompt your child’s immune system to build antibodies – or “armour” – that will protect your child from rubella, as well as from measles, mumps, and varicella.

Learn more about Rubella

At what age should my child be immunized against rubella?

To be protected against rubella, your child needs multiple doses of the MMRV vaccine, at the ages and stages recommended in the routine schedule. Your child is recommended to receive the MMRV vaccine at 12 months of age, and at four to six years of age.

Learn more about Rubella

Are there side effects to the rubella vaccine?

Your child may have redness, swelling and soreness where the needle was given. These side effects will be temporary, lasting for only one or two days. Four to 12 days after getting the immunization, your child may also develop a slight fever, a red blotchy rash and/or small blisters. These side effects are also temporary. For tips on managing side effects after immunization, click here.

Learn more about Rubella

Does the rubella vaccine cause autism?

No, vaccines do not cause autism. Research has found no link between vaccine and autism. You may have heard about Andrew Wakefield, a British surgeon who suggested a link between autism and vaccine. What you may not have heard is that the research he published was found to be false, and Wakefield had his medical licence taken away because of this. In January 2010, Britain’s statutory tribunal of the General Medical Council found Wakefield guilty of four counts of dishonesty and 12 counts involving the abuse of developmentally challenged children, as it pertained to his false research on autism.

Learn more about Rubella

Is this disease called any other names?

Rubella is sometimes referred to as German measles or three-day measles. It is important to remember that “measles” is actually different than rubella. Learn more about measles here.

Learn more about Rubella