Rubella, also known as German measles, is a disease caused by the rubella virus. Rubella is usually not serious in children, but very serious in pregnant women.
Rubella vaccine is provided free to healthy children, aged one year and older, as part of routine immunization. It is given in a shot that also includes vaccine against mumps and measles (MMR). MMR vaccine is also provided to older children and adults who have not had rubella or rubella vaccine.
Rubella is a mild disease in children but can be more serious in teenagers and adults. Rubella is much less common since routine immunization of children against rubella began.
Rubella during pregnancy can result in miscarriage, death of the fetus or severe abnormalities in the baby (congenital rubella syndrome).
After someone catches rubella it can take from 2 to 3 weeks for signs of the disease to appear. Some children with rubella will have no signs of rubella.
Rubella usually lasts about 3 days.
Rubella is spread by contact with droplets coughed, sneezed or breathed into the air by someone with rubella, or by contact with the saliva of someone with rubella.
Rubella is catching for seven days before the rash appears and for up to 7 days after the rash first appears.
Rubella is a reportable disease in British Columbia. If there is a case of rubella in a child or adult in the child care centre or school, immediately report the case to the Licensing Officer or Public Health Nurse assigned to your centre or school.
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Children with rubella should not go to the child care centre or school until at least seven days after the rash appears and only when they feel well enough to take part in activities.
Children who have been in contact with someone with rubella and who have not been immunized against rubella, should not go to the child care centre or school until they are immunized or until the Medical Health Officer says it is safe for them to return.