What is Rubella Vaccine?

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Why Are Kids Given Rubella Vaccine in India?

What is a Rubella Disease?

Rubella or German measles is a contagious disease caused by a virus called Rubivirus.
Measles is a virus which is found in the mucus and it spreads through the air. Rubivirus is different from the virus which causes measles.

What is Rubella and Measles called in Hindi?

Measles is called ‘Khasra’ in Hindi and Rubella Measles is called ‘Halka Khasra’ or ‘German Khasra’. In Marathi, it’s called ‘Govar’ or ‘Gover’.

What is Measles?

Measles is an easily contagious disease caused by a virus and produces mild fever, sore throat and rashes on the body parts. A person who never had Measles in life and has poor immunity against it are very much prone to this disease. It can even be lethal in some cases if proper actions are not taken in the early stages.

Who is at Risk?

MR vaccination is very necessary for the children to avoid the risk of Rubella. Children or adults who haven’t taken the vaccine or having a poor immune system are at risk of suffering from Rubella. Many a time, children are given MR vaccine but no or very less immunity is developed in them and hence they are prone to this disease.

What is Rubella and What are Rubella’s Symptoms?

Rubella is a contagious infection occurring in kids and adults due to Rubella virus or Rubivirus. It is commonly known as German Measles or ‘Three-Day-Measles’. It is a lethal disease and spreads through respiratory path. It is also transmitted to the baby if the to-be-mom is suffering from this disease. The virus resides in the nose and throat discharge or mucus.

Symptoms of Rubella

Diagnosis Rubella is a bit difficult and hence a plethora of Rubella cases remain undiagnosed resulting in death. The primary symptoms of the disease include –
• Mild fever (usually lower than 100.4 Fahrenheit )
• Pink or light red rashes on face gradually spreading on the body
• Congestion in nose
• Swollen lymph node and gland
• Headache
• Joint pain (in adults)
• Inflammation in the eyes
• Dry skin
• Loss of appetite
• Fatigue
The intensity of the German measles rashes is not higher as that of Measles. This disease was not considered as a serious disease till the discovery of Congenital Rubella Syndrome.

Rubella during Pregnancy?

The Congenital Rubella Syndrome or Rubella in the first few months of pregnancy causes huge damage to the fetus. Rubella during pregnancy may cause the disability of brain, eyes or other parts of the body to the still developing baby. There are chances of deafness and heart defects as well. If you are pregnant for lesser than 20 weeks, the chances of transmission of the virus to the fetus is very high.

How is Rubella Caused or Spread?

Rubella virus is spread through air from one person to another. It can be transmitted directly or indirectly. The common route for Rubella virus transmission is the mucus. When a person coughs or sneezes, this powerful virus attacks the nearby person. The infection lasts until 10 days and then noticeable body rashes are developed. Children and pregnant women are very much prone to this virus.
This virus can’t transmit from a person to an animal and vice versa. The virus is transmitted from the infected babies for over a year. There are no or lesser chances of catching this disease again in future once a person has become immune to it. One the virus is detected in throat, urine or blood through the tests, doctors go for suitable diagnosis. Sometimes doctors may ask for the antibody detecting blood test before diagnosis.

Why take Rubella Vaccine?

Rubella has no guaranteed cure.
The ‘prevention is better than cure’ theory is applied in this case. With the help of Rubella vaccine or MMR vaccine (combination of Rubella vaccine, measles vaccine and mumps vaccine), high immunity can be developed in children, adult and pregnant women against the virus.
In some cases, the chickenpox vaccine is also combined with the MMR vaccine. These vaccines are more than 95% effective.
Pregnant women are very prone to this infection as the fetus is very sensitive. Avoiding meeting people who recently had an infection or any kind of illness can also do the work if a pregnant woman has not taken the rubella or MMR vaccine before or has no immunity against the virus.
WHO has made the Rubella or MR vaccine mandatory along with other important vaccines. The main goal is to protect the women of childbearing age so that the next generation is safe and the virus is no more transmitted to anyone in the future.

When should I give My Child Measles-Rubella (MR) Vaccine?

The first dose of the vaccination can be given when the baby is between 9 months to 12 months or 16 to 24 months. Between 4 to 6 years the second dose of the vaccination is given. The immunity of the vaccine sustains for around 15 years. One dose of the vaccine is sufficient to combat the disease. In some cases, two doses become necessary for prolonged protection. However, single dose of the vaccine provides immunity against the virus for the lifetime.

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubella_vaccine
http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/india-needs-the-rubella-vaccine/article17369830.ece

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About Author

Sapana

Software professional – now work at home mom

4 Comments

    • Sapana

      Hi Sir,

      Yes though its a one of must-vaccines, its not common disease. Its controlled in India with the vaccines only as you read in the post there is no guaranteed cure for the disease.

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