As a parent, your greatest concern is the safety and welfare of your child. You would want to do everything to ensure that he/she is protected from all types of dangers and diseases. That's true even before your kid is born. One of the common diseases in children and developing fetuses is German Measles, which can now be prevented with a vaccine.
• Other Names
German Measles is also called by these other names:
- Three-Day Measles
• Rubella Virus
German Measles is an infection that involves the lymph nodes and the skin. It is not the same as the regular type of measles as this one is caused by the Rubella Virus, the only member of the genus of Rubivirus.
This virus is spread through nasal or throat congestion. It can also affect pregnant women and her child. She can pass on the infection to her developing fetus. This can be a risk for growth retardation such as malformation of heart and eyes, deafness, and mental retardation, among others.
• The infection begins with a mild fever of 99-100° F/37.2-37.8° C, which lasts for one to two days.
• The lymph nodes in the back of the neck or ears will be tender and swollen.
• There will be rashes that will first appear on the face and then spread downward. The rash is usually the first indication that parents notice. This rash is similar to other viral infection rashes. The color is either pink or light red. They form together even colored patches that can last for up to three days. It can be very itchy and uncomfortable.
• Other symptoms include loss of appetite, headache, inflammation of eyelids and eyeballs, runny nose, painful and swollen joints, and swollen lymph nodes in other parts of the body.
• It can also be possible that the infection doesn't show any symptom.
Since rubella is very contagious and it can pose serious health risks for pregnant women, it's imperative to take the preventive measures against it. The most effective way to prevent German measles is to get a rubella vaccine.
Before this vaccine was introduced in 1969, epidemics of this infection took place every six to nine years, affecting kids ages five to nine years old. With the emergence of the vaccine, the rate of rubella went down dramatically.
• First Dose (Baby)
This vaccine is given to children at 12 to 15 months as part of the MMR immunization. MMR stands for measles, mumps and rubella, which is a combination vaccine for these three ailments.
• Second Dose (Child)
The second dose of the immunization is given at four to six years of age.
• For Pregnancy (Women)
The vaccine can be given to pregnant women or any woman who is planning to become pregnant within one month. If you want to get pregnant, it's important to have your blood tested to see if you're immune to rubella. If not, get the vaccine at least a month before getting pregnant.
If you're not immune, do everything in your power to avoid anyone who has this ailment. Remember, German measles is very contagious. Protect your developing baby against future health problems by staying away from people who have rubella.