Treatment of rubella

Access information on how rubella is diagnosed and how it is treated.

On this page:

How is rubella diagnosed?

Only your health care provider can diagnose rubella and congenital rubella infection or syndrome (CRI/CRS). Diagnosis is based on:

  • your or your baby’s symptoms
  • your vaccination history
  • potential exposure to the virus:
  • if there has been a recent outbreak in your community
  • you have travelled to a region where the disease is common

Your health care provider will confirm the rubella virus through a laboratory test of your blood or urine. Your health care provider may also:

  • take a nasal swab
  • test the amniotic fluid
  • test the placenta

How is rubella treated?

There is no specific treatment for rubella. Since it is caused by a virus rather than bacteria, antibiotics cannot treat the infection. Because the illness is mild, health care providers usually let it run its course.

They will likely:

  • give you medication (such as pain relievers) to reduce your fever and make you more comfortable
  • tell you to drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods and get lots of rest to help fight the infection

Sick children and adults should stay home from school and work until 4 days after the rash appears. To help stop the spread of rubella, they should also:

  • avoid close contact with other household members (such as kissing and hugging)
  • cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue or their forearm
  • wash their hands often

Page details

Date modified: