Rubella, also known as German measles, is not the same thing as measles though the same MMR vaccination prevents both. The jab has been very effective is reducing cases of rubella. According to the NHS, in 2008 there were only around 27 confirmed cases in England and Wales.

Rubella is a virus which tends to attack children rather than adults, though anyone can get it. The symptoms can last for 10 days and include a light red rash on the face and body, a fever, swelling round the ears, throat and back of the head, a runny nose and an eye infection. It’s a milder condition than measles and up to half the people who catch rubella are unaware that they have it. It’s passed through coughs and sneezes and other forms of close contact with someone who is infected.

There is no specific cure for rubella. The body’s own immune system will fight the disease until it goes. However, if you think your child has rubella you should see your doctor. This is because rubella is a ‘notifiable disease’, which means your GP is required by law to report all cases to the local authourities who will track incidents of the disease in order to stop it spreading. Ordinary children’s painkillers can help ease the symptoms, and if your child does have rubella you should take them out of school for seven days.

Although the MMR vaccine has made rubella rare in the UK, all pregnant women are tested for the condition anyway. If your child has rubella and you are in the early stages of pregnancy (up to 11 weeks) you should see your doctor straight away as the condition can introduce complications or be passed on to the unborn baby.

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My two teenagers girl 14 boy 12 have developed a red and bumpy rash behind their ears and around their neck and upper back. They said its only slightly itchy but their are quite under the weather, what could it be? They have both had all their jabs etc., It is spreading onto their face too...

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