Rubella, also known as German measles, is a minor illness usually found in children. These days, most people are vaccinated during childhood, but cases still occur.
- Skill level:
Check the temperature of the patient. German measles usually begins with a mild fever. The temperature very rarely goes above 100. You may mistake the illness as the common cold.
Feel, gently, around the patient's neck and behind the ears. Rubella also causes swollen lymph nodes and these areas are common pain areas.
Ask the patient if he suffers from swollen joints, headaches, a runny nose or loss of appetite. These are minor symptoms that are known to occur in adults with Rubella.
Look at the patient's eyes. If they are puffy and red, the patient may suffer from conjunctivitis. This mild symptom is rarely found in children, but it can be common in adult cases.
Recognize the Symptoms of the Early Stage of German Measles
Check the patient's face for a rash. The rash will appear as pink or light red spots just underneath the skin.
Recognize the difference between other rashes and German measles. Chicken pox, for instance, has blister-like sores, which then scab over, while German measles are under the skin.
Wait a few days and watch the changes in the rash. The spots on the face should clear up first as the rash spreads. The rest of the rash should disappear within 3 days.
Refrain from scratching. German measles will itch a lot, but the less the patient scratches, the faster it will all be over. The itch is a sign that the skin is healing. An oatmeal bath might help to relieve the itch.
Expect dry skin as the rash heals. This is a good sign that the illness is ending, but it may be uncomfortable. The skin will begin to flake. Use a bland cream to replace the skin's moisture.
Recognize the Symptoms of the Late Stage of German Measles
Tips and warnings
- Most patients with German measles will suffer a rash. Aside from the rash, however, some people have no additional symptoms at all. This is most common with children.
- German measles should last for less than a week. No treatment is necessary and there is very little danger.
- If Rubella symptoms are found in a pregnant woman or someone living close to a pregnant woman, a doctor should be contacted immediately. German measles is a harmless illness most of the time, but it can be deadly to an unborn child.
- Keep the patient at home. German measles is very contagious for as long as a week before the rash breaks out and a week after the rash clears.