At a glance
Also known as
German measles, 3 day measles
Why get tested?
To determine if you have had a recent or past infection with the rubella , or to check that you are protected from the rubella virus
When to get tested?
If you plan to get pregnant or have symptoms of rubella infection
A blood sample drawn from a vein in the arm or oral fluid, a throat swab, or other more invasive samples such a amniotic fluid depending on symptoms.
Test preparation needed?
What is being tested?
Rubella is a viral infection that causes a fine red rash and flu-like , such as a high temperature, headache and a general feeling of being unwell. The raised red rash appears first on the face and neck and travels to the body and limbs. Teenagers and adults may experience more severe symptoms, such as pains, which may last several weeks. Rubella usually improves quickly without any special treatment. However if a woman gets rubella in the first three months of her pregnancy, serious birth defects, miscarriage or stillbirth may result.
You are infected when you come into contact with the nasal or throat secretions of someone who has an active viral infection. If you catch rubella, you are infectious one week before the rash appears and one week after. In children, rubella infections generally produce mild symptoms. The number of new cases of rubella is low in Australia since a combined for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) is recommended for all children.
The test, which can be done at any time, will provide the necessary information about a person’s to the .
How is the sample collected for testing?
Blood is drawn by needle from a vein in the arm.
Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?
No test preparation is needed.
Should pregnant women be vaccinated for rubella?
The rubella should not be given to a pregnant
woman, and a woman should avoid getting pregnant for one month after taking the vaccine.
Does the vaccine have any risks?
The contains a live that has been altered so it cannot cause all the problems associated with a natural infection. The most common side-effects are pain at the site of injection, fever, swollen glands or a rash following immunisation. Young children have a slightly increased risk of convulsions up to 2 weeks following vaccination. Adults in particular may develop transient pain in their , especially their hands and wrists. There is no credible evidence linking the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism.
What is the treatment for rubella in someone who has not been vaccinated?
There is no antibiotic or anti-viral drug that can prevent or ‘cure’ the infection or reduce the risk of rubella to an unborn baby. Specialist advice is essential.
How soon after I have been exposed to the virus will I get rubella?
If you are going to have symptoms, the rash usually begins 15–17 days after coming in contact with an infectious person, but it may take as long as 3 weeks