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There rubella it is an infection caused by the virus of the same name, rubella. But how does it spread? And most importantly, how is it treated rubella in adults?
In our in-depth study, we try to explain some of the main characteristics of this condition, naturally referring to your doctor in order to know more.
How rubella spreads
Rubella mainly spreads in two ways:
- when an infected person speaks, coughs or sneezes small droplets containing infectious agents in the air. The droplets in the air can be breathed in by those in the vicinity, thus favoring the spread of rubella;
- through indirect contact with the hands, tissues or other items that are affected by nose and throat discharge.
What are the signs and symptoms of rubella
Rubella is usually not a very serious disease, but in some conditions it can unfortunately be. For example, special care should be taken in women who are going through the first 8-10 weeks of pregnancy, as this scenario could result in fetal death or damage in up to 90% of cases.
Multiple defects are common (e.g. deafness, blindness, brain and heart damage and mental handicap) and late complications are increasingly recognized. The risk is reduced to about 10 - 20% if the mother becomes ill with rubella at 16 weeks of gestation and the defects are even more rare after 20 weeks.
Beyond this condition, rubella is a mild to moderate disease in other people.
Symptoms, when present, may include
- a runny nose,
- conjunctivitis (inflammation of the lining of the eyelids and the eye),
- skin rash,
- swollen glands (especially in the back of the neck),
- feeling of discomfort and pain.
Symptoms, especially joint pain, are more severe in adults than children.
How is rubella diagnosed
There rubella it is diagnosed by a blood test. Clinical diagnosis based on the appearance of the rash is in fact unreliable, although it can still be useful enough to be able to administer some first treatments.
The incubation period (that is, the time between infection and the development of symptoms), can last from 16 to 18 days, with an interval of 14 - 23 days. The infectious period (that is, the time during which an infected person can infect others) lasts up to 7 days before and at least 4 days after the appearance of the rash.
Treatment of rubella in adults
There is no effective antiviral treatment for rubella. The symptom treatment of this disease in adults therefore includes the intake of plenty of fluids and pain relief, if necessary. Paracetamol can be used to reduce fever and pain. Aspirin should not be given to children under the age of 12, unless specifically recommended by a doctor. Instead, if indicated by your doctor, it can be administered in order to relieve the symptoms of discomfort rubella in adults.
How can rubella in adults be prevented
There are some behaviors that can be useful in preventing rubella or, at least, reducing the risk of contracting this disease.
For example, it may be helpful to avoid contact with people with rubella, such as those who may share the same job. This caution should apply until their complete healing and for at least 4 days after the onset of the rash.
Evidently, an effective method to contain the risk of rubella is to carry out a vaccine, in order to adequately protect against the risk of infection. The vaccine after exposure will not prevent infection instead. Immunization against rubella should be carried out above all for health and childcare personnel.
People who suspect they have rubella should consult a doctor both to verify that the diagnosis is correct and to advise on what to do (especially for pregnant women who, as we have seen, are the category most at risk when it comes to rubella. ).
Read also Symptoms of meningitis in children
Rubella in pregnant women
In addition to the above prevention points, all pregnant women must have a rubella immunity test before or during their first pregnancy. If she is not believed to be immune, the vaccination can be given after delivery, but before discharge from the maternity ward. Rubella vaccine should not be given to a woman known to be pregnant and pregnancy should be avoided for one month after vaccination.
With suspicion of rubella or known exposure to rubella, specialized obstetrician advice should be sought promptly, regardless of your rubella vaccination history. Rubella reinfection, often without symptoms, can occur in individuals who have had a previous infection or vaccination, although fetal damage is very rare in these cases.
Having clarified the above, in order to know more, we can only advise you to contact your doctor.
In this way it will be possible to obtain all the more in-depth information on the characteristics of this infectious disease and, if you suspect you have contracted rubella, you will also be able to have all the most useful information to be able to arrive at a correct diagnosis of this disease and, above all, , all the precautions for a coherent treatment that can allow you to find a prompt well-being, facilitating the course of the disease and the convalescence phase.