Rubella (German measles)
Rubella is a viral illness transmitted via direct or droplet exposure to nasopharyngeal fluids and is characterized by rash, low-grade fever, swollen lymph nodes, and malaise.1
Because rubella symptoms can be mild, up to half of infections present as subclinical. While symptoms may be mild for some, adults may experience recurring episodes of arthralgia or arthritis, which are more common among women.1
Rubella Is a Serious Disease
Rubella can be especially challenging for women in their first trimester of pregnancy; it can cause miscarriages and increases the potential for a group of birth defects called congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). Common symptoms of CRS include cataracts, hearing loss, mental retardation, and congenital heart defects. In addition, infants with CRS often exhibit slowed growth in utero and after birth. During the first 3 months of gestation, the risk for congenital infections and defects is highest, and the risk for any defects diminishes beginning in the second trimester.1
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can provide more information on rubella.
Postexposure Prophylaxis for Rubella2
Some studies suggest that the use of GamaSTAN in exposed, susceptible women can lessen the likelihood of infection and fetal damage; therefore, GamaSTAN may modify rubella in exposed women who will not consider a therapeutic abortion.
Do not give GamaSTAN for routine prophylaxis of rubella in early pregnancy to an unexposed woman.