Rubella, also called German measles, is an RNA virus in the Paramyxovirus group that can cause a rash that I may encounter in both my The Woodlands dermatology and Conroe dermatology offices. Measles and Rubella are rare diseases due to vaccinations against theses viruses. Rubella is spread through respiratory secretions and patients develop a prodrome of fever, malaise, sore throat, eye pain, headache, conjunctivitis, runny nose, and lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes). This prodrome can last up to five days. A characteristic finding during the prodrome is pain on lateral and upward movement of the eyes. Rubella produces a rash that begins on the face and spreads cephalo-caudally (from head to feet) over a 24 hour period. The rash consists of red morbilliform macules but smaller than those seen in measles. Forscheimer’s sign occurs as pinhead size red petechiae on the soft palate and uvula. Some patients may develop arthritis and arthralgias. Another common finding is the development of posterior cervical and postauricular lymphadenopathy. In general, Rubella is much milder than Measles.
November 30, 2010
Medically reviewed by Anthony J. Perri, M.D.
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