What are the Different German Measles Symptoms? (with picture)

Laura M. Sands
Laura M. Sands
A German measles vaccine.
A German measles vaccine.

Also called rubella and three day measles, German measles symptoms include flu-like feelings such as a slight fever, achy muscles, headache, runny nose, a minor sore throat and bloodshot eyes. After early symptoms become apparent, a person then develops a rash that usually begins in the facial area before spreading elsewhere on the body. Some individuals even report a slight cough during the virus’ early stages. German measles symptoms in children tend to not be as severe as adult symptoms, although the virus can cause serious health defects in unborn children.

German measles symptoms are often very slight. It is not unusual for a person to be unaware of infection for as many as 10 days and, thus, spread the virus to others without realizing it. As an airborne illness, the rubella virus is highly contagious and is generally spread by personal contact or by bits of the virus circulating in the air and entering a person’s body via the respiratory tract.

Symptoms of German measles may also be characterized by a swelling of the lymph nodes located in the neck, as well as behind the ear. In very rare cases, German measles symptoms in adults and children may include skin bruising. In extreme cases of the virus, convulsions and vomiting may also occur. A rare, but very progressive, form of the virus known as progressive rubella panencephalitis is also known to strike teenagers. This form of the virus is characterized by its slow attack, which often goes unnoticed, but claims the life of its victim within eight years after infection.

Most people recover from the rubella virus without suffering any prolonged effects. Women exhibiting German measles symptoms in the first trimester of a pregnancy, however, may give birth to infants suffering from a series of very severe conditions. These include heart defects, vision problems, brain disorders, mental retardation and hearing problems or complete deafness. The children of women developing German measles symptoms in the second trimester of pregnancy are also susceptible to these issues, but to a lesser degree. In more severe cases of the virus, a pregnant woman may miscarry or give birth to a stillborn child.

German measles symptoms are sometimes difficult to diagnose. Often, an individual feeling slight symptoms or the parent of a child exhibiting symptoms, such as a fever and runny nose, will assume the early onset of a cold and attempt to treat these symptoms accordingly. While there is no single treatment for the symptoms of German measles in children or adults, early detection of the virus, as well as immunization against it, can help minimize its spread.

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    • A German measles vaccine.
      A German measles vaccine.