Friday, August 29, 2008

Rubella (German Measles)

Rubella (German Measles) is a highly communicable viral disease characterized by diffuse, punctuate, macular rash. Rubella is a relatively benign viral illness unless there is transplacental transmission.

Rubella is caused by rubella virus (Rubivirus) spread by airborne direct contact with nasopharyngeal secretions. This disease is communicable from one week before the rash appears to five days after the rash disappears. Rubella is most common in children but may also affect adults not infected during childhood.

Rubella occurs most often in the spring, but there are major epidemics occurring in six- to nine - year cycles.

The virus invades the nasopharynx and travels to the lymph glands, causing lymphadenopathy. Then in five to seven days it enters the bloodstream stimulating an immune response causing the skin rash. This rash lasts about three days.

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