Congenital rubella

Definition of Congenital rubella

Congenital rubella is a group of physical problems that occur in an infant when its mother is infected with the virus that causes German measles.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Congenital rubella is caused by the destructive action of the rubella virus on the fetus at a critical time in development. The most critical time is the first trimester (the first 3 months of a pregnancy). After the fourth month, the mother’s rubella infection is less likely to harm the developing fetus.

Symptoms

Symptoms in the infant may include:

Signs and tests

Laboratory tests, including blood and urine tests, are done to check for the virus.

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for congenital rubella. Care involves appropriate treatment of affected systems in consultation with your health care providers.

Expectations (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.

Review

Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/12/2009

Rubella on an infant
Rubella Syndrome

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

Article written by

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability.