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Rubella Virus

Genome: RNA Virus, Positive ssRNA Virus Structure: Enveloped Virus
  • Rubella Virus is phylogenetically part of the togaviruses but is considered separately because it is not spread by arthropod vector as are the other arboviruses.
  • Postnatal Transmission: Probably occurs by inoculation of the upper respiratory tract mucosa with respiratory secretions
  • Prenatal Transmission: Infection can occur trans-placentally during mother-to-child transmission thus qualifying Rubella as a TORCHES Organism.
Clinical Consequences
  • Postnatal Rubella
    • Postnatal rubella is often called "German Measles" due to its initial differentiation from measles virus by German physicians. The disease can occur in any age group and is characterized by a self-limited three-day febrile syndrome of constitutional symptoms accompanied by a skin rash which spreads from the face to the trunk to the extremities. Cervical lymphadenopathy is often observed.
  • Prenatal Rubella
    • Congenital infection with Rubella can result in a wide variety of birth defects which tend to be more severe and diverse when infection occurs earlier in gestation. Defects can involve the heart, resulting in Congenital Heart Disease, or the eye, leading to congenital cataracts. Congenital infection of the CNS can yield mental retardation and deafness.
  • Attenuated Rubella vaccine is part of the MMR Vaccine.