Rubella is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Also known as German measles or 3–day measles
  • Transmission via droplets from respiratory secretions
  • Moderately contagious:
    • Especially during rash eruption and infants with congenital rubella syndrome (CRS)
  • Up to 50% may be subclinical.
  • Infants with congenital rubella shed large quantities of virus for several months.
  • Infectious period 7 days before to 5 days after appearance of rash
  • Incubation period: 14–21 days


  • Rubella virus (family: Togaviridae, genus: Rubivirus)
  • Live, attenuated virus vaccine indications:
    • All children >12 mo and entering school
    • All women of childbearing age

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