St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Congenital rubella

    Congenital rubella is a condition that occurs in an infant whose mother is infected with the virus that causes German measles.

    Causes

    Congenital rubella occurs when the rubella virus in the mother affects the developing baby at a critical time, in the first 3 months of pregnancy. After the fourth month, the mother's rubella infection is less likely to harm the developing baby.

    The number of babies born with congenital rubella has decreased dramatically since the introduction of the rubella vaccine.

    Pregnant women who are not vaccinated for rubella and who have not had the disease in the past risk infecting themself and their unborn baby.

    Symptoms

    Symptoms in the infant may include:

    • Cloudy corneas or white appearance to pupil
    • Deafness
    • Developmental delay
    • Excessive sleepiness
    • Irritability
    • Low birth weight
    • Intellectual disability
    • Seizures
    • Small head size
    • Skin rash at birth

    Exams and Tests

    The baby's health care provider will run blood and urine tests to check for the virus.

    Treatment

    There is no specific treatment for congenital rubella. Symptoms are treated as appropriate.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    The outcome for a child with congenital rubella depends on the severity of problems present. Heart defects can often be corrected. Damage to the nervous system is permanent.

    Complications may involve many parts of the body.

    Eyes:

    • Cataracts
    • Glaucoma
    • Retinitis

    Heart:

    • Patent ductus arteriosus
    • Pulmonary artery stenosis
    • Other heart defects

    Central nervous system:

    • Intellectual disability
    • Motor disability
    • Small head from failed brain development
    • Encephalitis
    • Meningitis

    Other:

    • Deafness
    • Low blood platelet count
    • Enlarged liver and spleen
    • Abnormal muscle tone
    • Bone disease

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Call your health care provider if you have concerns about congenital rubella, if you are unsure of your vaccination status, or if you or your children need a rubella vaccine.

    Prevention

    Vaccination prior to pregnancy can prevent congenital rubella. Pregnant women who are not immune to rubella should avoid contact with persons who have the virus.

    References

    Mason WH. Rubella. In: Kliegman, RM, Behrman RE, St. Geme III JW, Schor NF, Stanton BF,eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 239.

    Edlich RF, Winters KL, Long WB 3rd, Gubler KD. Rubella and congenital rubella (German measles). J Long Term Eff Med Implants. 2005;15(3):319-328.

    Bar-Oz B, Levichek Z, Moretti ME, Mah C, Andreou S, Koren G. Pregnancy outcome following rubella vaccination: a prospective controlled study. Am J Med Genet A. 2004;130(1):52-54.

    Robertson SE, Featherstone DA, Gacic-Dobo M, Hersh BS. Rubella and congenital rubella syndrome: global update. Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2003;14(5):306-315.

    BACK TO TOP

    • Rubella on an infant's b...

      illustration

    • Rubella Syndrome

      illustration

      • Rubella on an infant's b...

        illustration

      • Rubella Syndrome

        illustration

      A Closer Look

        Self Care

          Tests for Congenital rubella

            Review Date: 5/10/2013

            Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

            The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
            adam.com

            A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


            Back  |  Top
            About Us
            Contact Us
            History
            Mission
            Locations & Directions
            Quality Reports
            Annual Reports
            Honors & Awards
            Community Health Needs
            Assessment

            Newsroom
            Services
            Brain & Spine
            Cancer
            Heart
            Maternity
            Orthopedics
            Pulmonary
            Sleep Medicine
            Urgent Care
            Women's Services
            All Services
            Patients & Visitors
            Locations & Directions
            Find a Physician
            Tour St. Luke's
            Patient & Visitor Information
            Contact Us
            Payment Options
            Financial Assistance
            Send a Card
            Mammogram Appointments
            Health Tools
            My Personal Health
            mystlukes
            Spirit of Women
            Health Information & Tools
            Clinical Trials
            Health Risk Assessments
            Employer Programs -
            Passport to Wellness

            Classes & Events
            Classes & Events
            Spirit of Women
            Donate & Volunteer
            Giving Opportunities
            Volunteer
            Physicians & Employees
            For Physicians
            Remote Access
            Medical Residency Information
            Pharmacy Residency Information
            Physician CPOE Training
            Careers
            Careers
            St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
            Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile