The symptoms we have named so far usually appear before the skin rash. They are included in the prodromal stage of the disease, in which the virus is still replicating in the body and has not yet started giving out the classic symptoms. When this early stage of the disease has finished, some prodromal symptoms might stay for a longer time, but the most important characteristic of the disease is the skin rash.
Rubella rash consists of light red or pink spots slightly raised and sometimes itchy. They usually start appearing in the patient’s face and spread downwards to the chest, the back, upper and lower extremities. It usually disappears from the face as it spreads downwards, and when there are multiple spots close to each other, they tend to join together creating red patches. This skin rash does not usually last more than 3 days, which is why one of the names of this disease is “3-day measles”.
There are many other skin rashes we should rule out, including roseola (baby measles), enterovirus and parvovirus infections. But if the symptoms we have mentioned above are also present, especially the enlarged lymph nodes, the sore throat, and red eyes, they are likely to be caused by rubella and not another viral infection. However, there are many give out symptoms a skilled clinician would notice and make an accurate diagnosis after performing a physical exam and a few diagnostic tests.