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

Miscarriage

Measles, Rubella, Miscarriage
Miscarriage

One of the most serious complications and the reason why this disease is considered a concerning public health problem is how severely it affects pregnant women. There is a very high risk of miscarriage and birth defects when the rubella infection strikes a woman during her first 3 months of gestation. This is also the case when they are vaccinated against rubella. After 3 months of pregnancy, the risk is lower, but there’s also a chance for the baby to have birth defects and other problems until week 20.

Rubella causes a myriad of birth defects, but the more prevalent include cataracts, deafness, bone marrow defects, heart problems, problems in the baby’s development and growth, intellectual disability, spleen damage, and liver damage. This is known as congenital rubella syndrome.

If you are pregnant and have started to experience the symptoms described in this article, try to remember whether or not you have been vaccinated against rubella. Vaccination is effective in creating lifelong immunity, and your symptoms might be due to another cause. However, there are exceptions to the rule, and it is strongly advised to ask your doctor about your symptoms.

As you have seen in this article, the major part of the symptoms in rubella is included in a prodromal syndrome that’s very difficult to differentiate from other viral diseases. When the rash appears, it gives out more specific symptoms we can trace back to its root cause. However, there are plenty of other diseases with similar types of rash, and only a professional would be able to make out the difference.

Around 50% of patients with rubella have no symptoms, and the disease goes unnoticed. Even when people have a rash, it only lasts 3 days, and they could be infecting people 10 days before the appearance of the rash until 1 or 2 weeks after it disappears. Thus, vaccination is one of the most reliable ways to really take down this disease and prevent its spread and consequences in pregnant women. An asymptomatic disease is more common in children because adults are more likely to undergo several symptoms, including complications such as arthritis symptoms, bleeding, and miscarriage in pregnant women.

References

Cooper, L. Z. (1985). The history and medical consequences of rubella. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 7(Supplement_1), S2-S10.

Banatvala, J. E., & Brown, D. W. (2004). Rubella. The Lancet, 363(9415), 1127-1137.

Miller, E., Cradock-Watson, J., & Pollock, T. (1982).
Consequences of confirmed maternal rubella at successive stages of pregnancy. The Lancet, 320(8302), 781-784.

Drutz, J. E., & Edwards, M. S. (2018). Measles, mumps, and rubella immunization in infants, children, and adolescents.

Lambert, N., Strebel, P., Orenstein, W., Icenogle, J., & Poland, G. A. (2015). Rubella. The Lancet, 385(9984), 2297-2307.