We tell you what exactly rubella is and how it works in children, so you will know how to distinguish its symptoms and go to the doctor if necessary.

If you have sons or daughters, you will be interested in knowing everything about rubella in children , since it is an infection that arises mainly during childhood. Usually, the development of rubella is benign, and its main characteristic is the appearance of a rash on the skin. Check out more interesting articles on our site.

The virus that causes rubella is the  rubivirus  and belongs to the  togavirus family. This can affect both boys and girls as well as adults, having a greater risk in the health of pregnant women, since it can affect the fetus and cause serious congenital malformations.

Rubella in children appears mainly between 2 and 10 years of age and its incidence is higher in spring and winter. Although it is true that since universal vaccination was carried out, the incidence has decreased.


Rubella is spread through droplets that are expelled with the respiratory secretions of infected people. When a healthy person inhales these contaminated droplets, the infectious agent reaches the pharynx, and from there into the bloodstream and lymphatic tissue, where it settles and reproduces.

When the virus gains strength, it spreads through the body and infects it. At this time, the body begins to respond to the infection and produces antibodies that will kill the virus.

The contagion can occur through an infected person from approximately 8 days before the rashes appear on the skin, until after 8 days.

The incubation period, the time that elapses from the first contact with the virus until the first symptoms appear, is 16 days.


Initially a low fever appears, sometimes accompanied by a cold. Afterward, pale pink-looking skin rashes, called exanthemas , develop . First on the cheeks and they spread towards the trunk and extremities.

The places where rashes predominate are the cheeks and buttocks. It does not affect the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, or the scalp. And they develop over 7 to 10 days.

In this phase there is also an increase in the size of the lymph nodes in the neck, and the appearance of lesions inside the mouth may occur: macules (small flat colored spots) and petechiae (small red dots). Finally, joint pain may appear.


The treatment of rubella in children is symptomatic, that is, it is focused on ending the symptoms of the infection, such as fever and pain.

When children are infected, it is of great importance that they do not have contact with pregnant people, as it can cause complications in the baby. Some of these complications are:

  • Deafness.
  • Microencephaly: a disorder characterized by a small brain.
  • Cataracts and glaucoma.
  • Malformations in the heart.
  • Under weight.

As for the complications that rubella can have in children, there are the following:

  • Encephalitis: inflammation of the brain.
  • Arthritis : inflammation in the joints.
  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: the body’s antibodies attack the platelets causing a decrease in these and greater difficulty in stopping bleeding, which causes the appearance of purple spots on the skin.

We recommend that you request a medical consultation to find out about the rubella vaccine. It will help both your sons or daughters and you if you are not yet vaccinated, in preventing this infection.

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