By Gary M. White, MD

Rubella is a viral exanthem caused by an RNA togavirus. Also known as German measles, rubella is generally a mild illness, involving a three-day rash and low-grade fever. However, if a pregnant woman gets the disease, the unborn child can be severely affected with the congenital rubella syndrome.


The maculopapular rash starts at the face and spreads downward over several days. A significant fever may accompany the rash. An arthritis may affect females.


Usually, no treatment other than supportive care is needed.


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