What are the complications of rubella?
For most people rubella is a mild illness and they recover within about three days.
However, possible complications of rubella include:
- lingering joint pain that may take a month or more to get better
- up to 70% of women who get rubella may experience arthritis; this is rare in children and men
- otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear)
- encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), which can be fatal in some cases.
If an unvaccinated pregnant woman becomes infected with rubella virus, she is at risk of having a miscarriage, or her baby may die shortly after birth – particularly if she is infected early in her pregnancy. The developing baby can also develop serious birth defects such as:
- heart problems
- loss of hearing and eyesight
- intellectual disability
- liver or spleen damage.
Sources & Citations
- Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Rubella. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/rubella (accessed 15 April 2018).
- Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Rubella complications. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/rubella/about/complications.html (accessed 15 April 2018).
SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0138a - Date of preparation May 2018Show All