The problem of Rubella or the German Measles is creating a lot of problems in India as there is no availability of vaccine in the country on this health problem. Although large number of people are coming forward to aware people about the disease, still many people are unaware about the preventive tips, which should be taken to keep yourself away from the disease.
Here we have tried to provide you important information about the problem of rubella or German measles. Read on to know about the causes, symptoms as well as treatment of the disease.
What is German measles or Rubella?
Rubella or German Measles is a type of viral infection which causes a red rash on the body. Along with red rashes, people suffering from rubella may also experience fever along with swelling of the lymph nodes. This is highly contagious disease and can be spread from one person to another with sneezing or coughing from an infected person. You may also suffer from measles by sharing food and drinks with the infected person.
In various developed countries, after the introduction of the rubella vaccine, the cases of measles decreased. However, it is still active in certain parts along with various developing countries such as India. Even though the disease is more common in children between the age of 5-9 years, it may also occur in the adults.
The disease of measles may be resolved by itself without any treatment. However, it may create more complications in pregnant women causing the problems in the development of a baby by triggering the condition of Congenital rubella syndrome. In this condition, it is important to take help of your doctor immediately.
General Symptoms of German Measles
The symptoms of rubella or German measles are highly tiny and it is highly difficult to notice them. After getting infected with the virus, the symptoms start to develop within three weeks and might stay for 5-7 days. The general symptoms include,
- Muscle pain
- Mild fever
- Red and inflamed eyes
- Tender and swollen lymph nodes
- Red rash which starts on your face and then spreads to the rest of the body.
- Stuffy or a runny nose
There are not at all the rare symptoms and can be of the different disease as well. Therefore, it is important to take suggestions from the doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing these symptoms, especially if you are pregnant.
Although it is highly rare, German measles or rubella may also cause the problem of brain swelling and ear infection. Some of the symptoms which need immediate medical attention are,
- Stiff neck
- Pain in ear
- Prolonged headache
Causes of German measles
The virus of German measles or rubella is highly contagious and can even spread through direct contact. The main medium, through which it can spread is the droplets which produce through the coughing and sneezing.
This simply means that any type of contact with the infected droplets may cause the problem of German measles.
If you are pregnant, the virus can even transmit to the fetus through the bloodstream. This virus can only be spread from the infected person and a large number of people does not even know that they are spreading it.
Diagnosis of German measles
The most common way of diagnosing the problem of German measles is through noticing the red rashes on your body. However, your doctor will confirm the diagnosis with the help of a blood test. The blood test will check for antibodies in your blood. These antibodies play an important role in eliminating the viruses as well as bacteria from the blood. The test can certainly tell whether you are suffering from the virus or not.
Treatment of German measles
Generally, the problem of German measles is treated at home by the prescription of certain drugs as well as the forced bed rest.
One of the most used drugs on measles is acetaminophen or Tylenol, which is an amazing drug to get rid of aches as well as discomfort. Your doctor may also recommend staying at home to prevent the risk of the virus spreading to other people.
For the pregnant women, the doctor may suggest some effective antibodies such as hyperimmune globulin, which is helpful in countering the virus. However, even after the treatment, there is a significant risk of your baby suffering from German measles.
Certain babies are born with the condition of congenital rubella syndrome. These babies require an effective specialist treatment. According to the experts, it is also important to consult with your doctor immediately, if you think you are going to pass the disease to your baby.
Prevention of German Measles
The safest and protective way to be safe and away from the problem of German measles or rubella is to get vaccinated properly. Usually, the rubella virus is made up of combining two vaccines for mumps and measles along with varicella, the virus, which triggers the condition of chickenpox.
The first vaccination to the babies occurs in between 12-15 months. When the children get to the age of 4-6, the booster dose is essential. It is important to know that the vaccine itself contains a tiny dose of the virus and therefore injection may cause rashes and small fever.
The immunity test becomes important for you if you are unaware about your vaccination for German measles. The test for immunity is also important if you are,
- A woman with a childbearing age but not pregnant
- Going to attend or attending an educational facility
- Working in medical school or facility
- Planning to travel to the country where there is unavailability of the rubella virus
There are some side effects of rubella virus vaccine, however. While the vaccine does not contain any problem, the presence of virus in it may cause a lot of complications and may also cause various adverse reactions in some people. It is highly important to get vaccinated immediately if you are having weak immune system due to illnesses or pregnancy.