Measles (Rubella) – 9 Common Signs & Symptoms of Measles

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Measles rash, measles pictures

Rubella, also known as 3-day measles or German measles, is a widely known viral disease that gives out a characteristic rash along with a few other important symptoms and usually appears in children and non-vaccinated adults. It is a relatively harmless disease in children, and some of them would experience such mild symptoms that they might even go unnoticed and parents think it was a seasonal flu or a minor infection. In children, rubella does not last for a long time and has no severe consequences, but in adults, it might give out severe symptoms, complications, and significant risk in pregnant women.

After being infected with rubella, children and adults develop life-long immunity against the virus, which is why vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent this disease in children and its complications during adulthood. The virus is spread through droplets and has a very long incubation period compared to other viral diseases. 12 to 23 days after the infection, people start noticing the following signs and symptoms:

Low-grade fever

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Low-grade fever

The signs and symptoms of rubella won’t usually start with the classic rash. Instead, fever is often the first symptom children experience. It is usually a mild fever that does not exceed 39 °C (102 °F), and in some cases, it can be easily dismissed by both parents and children. Fever is part of the prodromal period, which accounts as warning symptoms, but it is still not enough to get a clear picture of what is the root cause.

Fever in rubella is the result of the attempts by the immune system to control the infection. After the virus is detected by the immune cells, they start releasing a series of inflammatory substances that change the temperature threshold in the organism and promote heat production through changes in vasculature and involuntary muscle movements. Thus, patients may also feel chills as a part of the symptoms, but it is not necessarily a classic symptom of rubella.

Fever usually lasts 1 to 5 days, and then the rash starts to appear, and it is not prevalent in children as it is in adults. When the rash appears, fever is often resolved without any medication to lower it down.

Written by Martin Davis