German Measles In Toddlers – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments


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Rubella, also known as 3-day measles or German measles, is an infection that affects the skin and lymph nodes in infants and children. The infection is called German measles after a German physician who clearly described it in 1760. German measles is caused by the rubella virus. It is more common in young and non-vaccinated adults than kids. According to research, more than 100% of adolescents are susceptible to rubella.

Signs And Symptoms Of German Measles In Toddlers:

Rashes are the first signs of German measles. The rash begins on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body. It appears as light red or pink spots, which merge to form evenly colored patches. The rash usually lasts up to three days.

The other symptom of German measles is fever that lasts for about 24 hours. The infection begins with 1 or 2 days of mild fever followed by tender and swollen lymph nodes, which is usually visible behind the ears or at the back of the neck.

The other rubella symptoms in toddlers include loss of appetite, headache, stuffy nose, swelling of the joints and conjunctivitis. In some cases, German measles may show no symptoms at all.

[ Read: Measles In Toddlers ]


Rubella is quite a contagious disease. It is transmitted from a person to person by inhaling fluids of the throat and nose of kids suffering from rubella. Infants suffering from congenital rubella syndrome can shed the virus in the form of fluid from the nose and throat or in urine for a year.


German measles or Rubella in toddlers can be prevented by immunization. An immunization against rubella is very critical to controlling the spread of the disease. The vaccine is given to children at 12 to 15 months of age. It is usually a part of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) (1) immunization. Children of 6 months of age can also be given rubella vaccination. Rubella vaccine should not be given to pregnant women.


The incubation period for the German measles is 16 to 18 days. This means that a child can get rubella in two to three weeks after he is exposed to someone with the diseases.

[ Read: Treatment For Hives In Toddlers ]


The rubella rashes may last three days while the swollen lymph nodes can take more than a week to heal.


Rubella is a mild disease and can be treated easily at home. It usually resolves on its own if there are no complications. Make sure you monitor your baby’s temperature and call the doctor if the baby develops a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

You can give your child acetaminophen (2)or ibuprofen to relieve minor discomfort. Do not give aspirin to the child as it can lead to liver failure and even death in extreme cases.

Rubella cannot be treated with antibiotics, as it is caused by a virus, not bacteria.

[ Read: Treatment For Chickenpox In Toddlers ]


A pediatrician uses a cotton swab to take the sample from the child’s nose or mouth, which is analyzed for the presence of rubella infection. If rubella is rampant in a locality, then the doctor will take a blood sample to check the immunity status. If the immunity is low, then the doctor will recommend a dose of MMR vaccine.

German Measles During Pregnancy:

Rubella is a mild disease in children, but can prove devastating for a pregnant woman. It can cause ‘congenital rubella’ syndrome during the first trimester of pregnancy. Rubella measles can also pass through a pregnant woman’s bloodstream, thereby infecting the fetus. Children who are infected with rubella before birth are at a risk of retardation, deafness, liver spleen [3] and malformations of the eyes and heart. Pregnant women who received the vaccination as children are immune to this disease. In case the woman does not have immunity, then she should receive the MMR vaccine at least one or two months before pregnancy.

We hope this article provided you with all the necessary information about German measles in toddlers. If you have any query or suggestion, leave a comment in the comment section.

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