The rubella rash can look like many other viral rashes. So doctors usually confirm rubella with the help of laboratory tests. You may have a virus culture or a blood test, which can detect the presence of different types of rubella antibodies in your blood. These antibodies indicate whether you've had a recent or past infection or a rubella vaccine.
No treatment will shorten the course of rubella infection, and symptoms are often so mild that treatment usually isn't necessary. However, doctors often recommend isolation from others — especially pregnant women — during the infectious period.
If you contract rubella while you're pregnant, discuss the risks to your baby with your doctor. If you wish to continue your pregnancy, you may be given antibodies called hyperimmune globulin that can fight off the infection. This can reduce your symptoms, but doesn't eliminate the possibility of your baby developing congenital rubella syndrome.
Support of an infant born with congenital rubella syndrome varies depending on the extent of the infant's problems. Children with multiple complications may require early treatment from a team of specialists.
Lifestyle and home remedies
In rare instances when a child or adult is infected with rubella, simple self-care measures are required:
- Rest in bed as necessary.
- Take acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to relieve discomfort from fever and aches.
- Tell friends, family and co-workers — especially pregnant women — about your diagnosis if they may have been exposed to the disease.
- Avoid people who have conditions that cause deficient or suppressed immune systems.
- Tell your child's school or child care provider that your child has rubella.
Preparing for your appointment
As you prepare for your appointment, it's a good idea to write down any questions you have. Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions as well. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- Have you been vaccinated for rubella?
- How long have you had symptoms, such as a rash or aching joints?
- Have you been exposed to anyone with rubella?
- Have you traveled to other countries in recent weeks? Which countries?
- Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
- Does anything seem to worsen your symptoms?
When you check in for the appointment, be sure to tell the check-in desk that you suspect an infectious disease. The person may choose to give you a face mask or show you to your room immediately.