/rooh bel"euh/, n. Pathol.
a usually mild contagious viral disease characterized by fever, mild upper respiratory congestion, and a fine red rash lasting a few days: if contracted by a woman during early pregnancy, it may cause serious damage to the fetus. Also called German measles.
[1880-85; < NL, n. use of neut. pl. of L rubellus reddish, deriv. of ruber RED1; for formation see CASTELLUM]

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Viral disease with a usually mild course, except in women in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, in whom it can cause fetal birth defects (of eyes, heart, brain, and large arteries) or death.

Sore throat and fever are followed by swollen glands and a rash. Up to 30% of infections may have no symptoms. Lifelong immunity follows infection. Encephalitis is a rare complication. Rubella was not distinguished from measles (rubeola) until the early 19th century and was not known to be dangerous until 1941. The virus was isolated in 1962, and a vaccine became available in 1969.

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also called  German measles 

      viral disease that runs a mild and benign course in most people. Although rubella is not usually a serious illness in children or adults, it can cause birth defects (congenital disorder) or the loss of a fetus if a mother in the early stages of pregnancy becomes infected.

      German physician Daniel Sennert first described the disease in 1619, calling it röteln, or rubella, for the red-coloured rash that accompanies the illness. Rubella was distinguished from a more serious infectious disease, measles, or rubeola, in the early 19th century. It came to be called German measles in the latter part of the 19th century when the disease was closely studied by German physicians. The rubella virus was first isolated in 1962, and a vaccine was made available in 1969. Rubella occurred worldwide before immunization programs were instituted, with minor epidemics (epidemic) arising every 6 to 9 years and major epidemics every 30 years. Because of its mildness it was not considered a dangerous illness until 1941, when Australian ophthalmologist N. McAlister Gregg discovered that prenatal infection with the virus was responsible for congenital malformations in children.

      The rubella virus is spread through the respiratory route, being shed in droplets of respiratory secretions from an infected person. The incubation period is 12 to 19 days, with most cases occurring about 15 days after exposure. The first symptoms to appear are a sore throat and fever, followed by swollen glands and a rash that lasts about three days. Infected individuals tend to be most contagious when a rash is erupting. The duration and severity of the illness are variable and complications are rare, although encephalitis may follow. As many as 30 percent of infections are thought to occur without symptoms. Once infected, a person develops lifelong immunity to rubella.

      Fetal infection occurs when the virus enters the placenta from the maternal bloodstream. Defects of the eye, heart, brain, and large arteries are most common and, together, are referred to as congenital rubella syndrome. The risk to the fetus is greatly reduced if the mother is infected after 20 weeks' gestation. If a woman of childbearing age has not had a natural infection with rubella virus, she should be immunized prior to pregnancy.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • rubella — u*bel la, n. [NL., fr. L. rubellus reddish.] (Med.) An acute but mild viral infection characterized by a dusky red cutaneous eruption resembling that of measles, but attended by only mild respiratory problems or fever; called also {German… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rubella — German measles, 1883, Modern Latin, lit. rash, from neuter plural of L. rubellus reddish, dim. of ruber red (see RED (Cf. red)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • rubella — ► NOUN ▪ a contagious disease transmitted by a virus and with symptoms like mild measles; German measles. ORIGIN Latin, reddish things …   English terms dictionary

  • rubella — [ro͞o bel′ə] n. [ModL, neut. pl. of L rubellus, reddish < ruber,RED] a mild, infectious, communicable viral disease, characterized by swollen glands, esp. of the back of the head and neck, and small red spots on the skin; German measles …   English World dictionary

  • Rubella — eMedicine2|derm|259 MeshID = D012409Rubella, commonly known as German measles, is a disease caused by Rubella virus. The name is derived from the Latin, meaning little red . Rubella is also known as German measles because the disease was first… …   Wikipedia

  • Rubella — Klassifikation nach ICD 10 B06.0 Röteln mit neurologischen Komplikationen B26.8 Röteln mit sonstigen Komplikationen B26.9 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rubella — Virus de la rubéole …   Wikipédia en Français

  • rubella — An acute but mild exanthematous disease caused by r. virus (Rubivirus family Togaviridae), with enlargement of lymph node s, but usually with little fever or constitutional reaction; a high incidence …   Medical dictionary

  • rubella — Measles Mea sles, n.; pl. in form, but used as singular in senses 1, 2, & 3. [D. mazelen; akin to G. masern, pl., and E. mazer, and orig. meaning, little spots. See {Mazer}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Med.) A contagious viral febrile disorder commencing …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rubella — A moderately contagious skin disease that occurs primarily in children 5 to 9 years of age that is caused by the rubella virus, which is acquired by droplet inhalation into the respiratory system; German measles …   Dictionary of microbiology

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