They are a well-known childhood illness rubella. This viral disease is characterized by swollen lymph nodes and the typical skin rash.
Rubella expresses itself through the typical symptoms of a cold. These include a runny nose, cough, mild headache and occasionally conjunctivitis.
A disease that many people have encountered in the course of their lives rubella. Rubella is a viral disease and mostly occurs in childhood. A very severe rash, swollen lymph nodes and a strong fever are typical of the disease. In most cases, however, the people affected are lucky and the disease progresses without any symptoms, so that it is often not even noticed and goes undetected.
However, rubella is a highly contagious disease that should be taken seriously. The causative viruses are usually transmitted through a droplet infection, such as a cough or sneeze. Serious complications almost never occur with rubella disease, unless rubella disease occurs during pregnancy. Rubella disease can have serious consequences during pregnancy.
For example, dangers for the unborn child can arise. For example it can happen that the organs of the embryo are affected. In these cases, an abortion for medical reasons is an option that is often considered. It is therefore advisable to vaccinate girls against rubella up to puberty.
The causes for rubella are clear. Rubella is always based on an infection with a virus. In this case it is what is known as the rubivirus. The rubivirus belongs to the group of togaviruses. The rubivirus has RNA as hereditary material and is distributed all over the world. However, after a single rubella disease, people are immune to the virus and have already formed antibodies against renewed infection, which are reactivated to defend the body when they come into contact with the virus.
The incubation period (the time from infection to onset) of the disease is around two to three weeks in most cases. The incubation period differs from person to person. Often the transmission occurs through sneezing or coughing, but infection through kissing or sharing dishes or cutlery cannot be ruled out. The probability that the disease or the virus will be transmitted from one already infected person to another is between 20% and 70%.
Rubella expresses itself through the typical symptoms of a cold. These include a runny nose, cough, mild headache and occasionally conjunctivitis. In many cases, the disease disappears after these symptoms without further symptoms. In half of the patients there is swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck and neck area.
The lymph nodes behind the ears can cause severe pain, often with uncomfortable itching. A few days after the swelling, the typical rubella rash finally sets in. Small reddish or brownish spots then form behind the ears, which quickly spread to the entire face as well as the neck, arms and legs. In the further course the whole body is affected.
The rash will usually go away quickly once the patient seeks treatment. After two to three days, the spots will usually have subsided. The disease can last longer in children. In addition, accompanying symptoms such as fever and malaise can arise. The rubella regress a few days after infection with the pathogen and usually do not cause any further symptoms apart from a feeling of illness.
The course of rubella is usually positive with no further complications. In children in particular, there are usually no serious symptoms and no noticeable complaints. Anyone who has already had the disease is immune to it and does not need to worry about recurring it. After the initial infection, there is lifelong immunity. Repeated infection can only occur under certain circumstances.
For example, the disease can reappear if the person concerned has a low number of antibodies, i.e. an immune deficiency. If such a reinfection occurs, however, the symptoms are very mild and not particularly worth mentioning. The complaints are usually only mild or not apparent at all. In these cases, the disease progresses even faster than with an initial infection.
Complications are only to be feared in rare cases with rubella disease. It primarily affects adult patients, while children only occasionally suffer from it. The higher the age of the sick person, the greater the risk of sequelae. The most common complications of rubella include inflammation of the joints and arthritis.
Occasionally, the number of platelets in the body also drops, which can lead to more frequent bleeding. Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), inflammation of the ears (otitis), inflammation of the pericardium (pericarditis), heart muscle inflammation (myocarditis) or minor vascular impairments that cause bleeding beneath the skin also occur rarely.
Other sequelae of rubella infection are bronchitis, epilepsy, hepatosplenomegaly (enlargement of the liver and spleen) and thrombocytopenic purpura. Rubella complications are particularly dangerous during pregnancy. So there is a risk that the sick mother will also infect her unborn child, which happens through the placenta. This has a negative effect on the development of the baby, because there is a risk of pronounced deformities of the organs.
Conceivable sequelae include deafness, malformations of the eyes or the heart, such as unlocked heart walls, and mental impairments. There is also a risk that the rubella could trigger premature birth or miscarriage. If rubella develops during pregnancy, the pregnant woman concerned can opt for an abortion.
If you suspect rubella, you need a doctor as soon as possible. Although the disease is usually uncomplicated in children, a diagnosis and clarification of the need for medical care are indicated.The childhood disease is considered to be highly contagious and can pose a risk to the unborn child, especially in pregnant women. In severe cases, there is a miscarriage or lifelong damage to the health of the offspring.
Changes in the appearance of the skin and swollen lymph nodes are characteristic of the disease. In addition, there is a cough and a strong fever. A visit to a doctor is advisable as soon as the first irregularities occur, as the pathogens spread within a short time and lead to a deterioration in health.
Fatigue, exhaustion, and a general feeling of illness are signs that should be presented to a doctor. Medical care is necessary for itching, pustules and open wounds. If swelling, excessive perspiration and increased fatigue occur, a doctor should be consulted. Behavioral problems, anxiety and headaches should be examined and treated.
Adults in particular who do not have adequate vaccination against rubella should consult a doctor if the symptoms increase. There is a risk of secondary diseases that can lead to lifelong impairment.
Therapy against rubella is not required in most cases and is only intended to relieve symptoms of the disease in the short term. If symptoms such as fever occur, antipyretic drugs are prescribed. In some cases, anti-inflammatory drugs may also be prescribed. Antihistamatics are also often used in the treatment of rubella. Usually, however, bed rest is sufficient for the disease to slowly subside.
Rubella subside within a few days with appropriate treatment. After recovery, the doctor will need to conduct a follow-up examination and assess the patient's health. As part of the aftercare, a physical examination and a patient interview will take place. The physical check-up includes a visual diagnosis, a fever measurement, and other measures that depend on the severity of the disease.
The conversation with the patient serves to clarify open questions and ambiguities. The doctor will inform himself about the course of the rubella and, if necessary, ask about the effectiveness of the prescribed antibiotics. In the event of side effects, it is necessary to change the medication, which must be tapered after recovery.
He gives further tips to the legal guardians and can put you in touch with a specialist if the rubella does not go away or other problems arise. The rubella follow-up care is carried out by the pediatrician or family doctor. The final examination takes place a few days after recovery. If no abnormalities are found, the patient is discharged. Further examinations are not necessary.
If the child has rubella, bed rest applies. The viral disease often occurs without physical complaints, but physical protection is important. The child should also be isolated until the rash subsides. This avoids infection. If necessary, kindergarten or school must be informed about the illness. Other parents then have the opportunity to have their child examined and to have any rubella identified at an early stage.
Pregnant women who have not yet had rubella should see a doctor if the child has rubella. The child is best placed with friends or relatives. In addition, various home remedies help against rubella. For example, calf compresses or vinegar socks, but also cooling and the use of gentle baths have proven effective. Quark compresses and cooling pads help with painful lymph nodes.
If the complaints do not go away despite all measures, the pediatrician should be consulted. If the outcome is positive, the child should rest for at least one to two weeks. Physical activity contributes to a quick recovery from the second week onwards. It is recommended that children be vaccinated against the pathogen at an early stage so that rubella does not even occur.