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Rubella virus

Rubella (also known as German measles) is a disease caused by the Rubella virus.

It is often mild and an attack can pass unnoticed. However, this can make the virus very difficult to diagnose. The virus usually enters the body through the nose or throat. The disease can last 1–5 days. Children recover more quickly than adults. Like most viruses living along the respiratory tract, it is passed from person to person by tiny droplets in the air that are breathed out. Rubella can also be transmitted from a mother to her developing baby through the bloodstream through the placenta. The virus has an incubation period of 2 to 3 weeks during which it becomes established. Common symptoms are a red/pink rash, swollen lymph nodes, a high temperature.

The disease is named German measles because it has a similar red rash to measles and was first described in detail by German physicians.[1]


  1. Best, J.M., Cooray, S., Banatvala J.E. Rubella in Topley and Wilson's Microbiology and Microbial Infections, Vol. 2, Virology, Chapter 45, p.960-92, ISBN 0-340-88562-9, 2005