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Rubella (german measles)

Rubella (german measles) is a rare illness that causes a spotty rash. It usually gets better on its own but can be serious if you're pregnant.

Symptoms of rubella include a spotty rash that feels rough, with swollen glands in your neck, aching fingers, wrists or knees and a high temperature.

Rubella usually gets better in about a week. Stay at home, get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids until you're feeling better.

The MMR vaccine can protect against rubella. The vaccine is offered on the NHS to all children in the UK.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of rubella include a spotty rash that feels rough, with swollen glands in your neck, aching fingers, wrists or knees and a high temperature.

Check if you or your child have rubella

The main symptom of rubella is a red or pink spotty rash.

The rash takes 2 to 3 weeks to appear after getting rubella.

A rash of hundreds of small pink spots covering the chest of a child with pale skinThe rash starts behind the ears and spreads to the head, neck and body.

A spotty rash on the back of someone with dark skinThe rash can be hard to see on dark skin, but might feel rough or bumpy.

2 small lumps under the skin behind someone's right earYou might have lumps (swollen glands) in your neck or behind your ears.

Rubella can also cause:

Read more on the NHS website.

Rubella usually gets better in about a week. Stay at home, get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids until you're feeling better.

Self-care

Rubella usually gets better in about 1 week.

It can help to:

  • get plenty of rest
  • drink lots of fluids, like water or squash
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen (do not give aspirin to children under 16)

Important

Stay off nursery, school or work for 5 days after the rash appears.

Also try to avoid close contact with pregnant women.

Rubella is infectious from 1 week before the symptoms start and for 4 days after the rash first appears.

Read more on the NHS website.

The MMR vaccine can protect against rubella. The vaccine is offered on the NHS to all children in the UK.

Read more on the NHS website.