Symptoms of rubella

Learn about the symptoms of rubella, what to look for and what to do if you become ill.

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What are the symptoms of rubella?

Some people who are infected with rubella will not show any symptoms. For others, symptoms usually develop 14 to 17 days after exposure. Sometimes, it takes up to 21 days for the symptoms to appear.

In children, symptoms can include:  

  • a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body (lasts about 3 days)
  • a low-grade fever (under 39°C)
  • nausea
  • inflammation of the lining of the eye (conjunctivitis)

In older children and adults, symptoms can also include:

  • swollen glands behind the ears and neck
  • cold-like symptoms before the rash appears
  • aching joints

What do you do if you become ill?

If you or your child develops symptoms of rubella, see your health care provider immediately. Call ahead for an appointment to avoid exposing others to the infection. It is very important to identify rubella in order to prevent it from spreading.

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