In detail

Congenital rubella

Congenital rubella


Congenital rubella is a viral infection that is transmitted to the fetus from the mother during pregnancy. This is manifested by several abnormalities at the birth of the baby. In some cases, fetal death may also occur. There is no specific treatment, which is why vaccination is essential in this regard.

What are the causes?

Rubella virus invades the mother's respiratory tract, then spreads to the body, including the placenta. The highest risk occurs in the fetus when infected with the virus during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, especially between the 8th and 10th. In early pregnancy, it appears that the virus can cause chronic intrauterine infection, causing essential medical damage.

Thus, the congenital rubella appears due to the destructive action of the rubella virus on the fetus during the critical period of its development in the uterine cavity. The first trimester is the most vulnerable period and with the highest degree of risk, but after the pregnancy is 4 months, the virus is very unlikely to affect the fetus.

What are the signs and symptoms?

If the fetus is affected there are several possibilities:

  • either the condition is asymptomatic;

  • or multiple anomalies occur;

  • either fetal death occurs.

Other manifestations that occur at the birth of a baby infected with rubella are:

  • skin rash;

  • light weight;

  • small head size;

  • lethargy;

  • deafness;

  • irritability etc.

What complications can occur in the fetus?

The most common anomalies caused by rubella virus are:

  • delayed intrauterine growth;

  • microcephaly;

  • meningoencephalitis;

  • congenital cataract;

  • retinopathy;

  • disorders of the liver, spleen, spinal cord;

  • hearing loss;

  • cardiac abnormalities etc.

Doctors carry out thorough examinations and investigations to accurately detect hearing problems, intellectual disabilities, abnormal behaviors, diabetes or progressive encephalitis.

Babies infected with rubella can also develop immune deficiencies. Older children may have learning disabilities, mental retardation, autism, glaucoma, etc.

How is congenital rubella treated?

If the rubella is found during pregnancy in the first trimester of pregnancy, it is recommended to stop the pregnancy. Doctors believe there are too high risks of severe birth defects in the fetus if pregnancy continues.

If the rubella is diagnosed only at the birth of the child, then the doctors call for the treatment of the symptoms and the correction by surgical interventions of the malformations arising from the infection, where this can be done. Babies are also monitored clinically and biologically.

Can congenital rubella be prevented?

This type of rubella can be easily prevented by vaccination. Both babies and future mothers, if not vaccinated by the time of conception.

Before conceiving a child, women have to do a series of tests. If it is found that they have negative rubella serology, vaccination is recommended.

If pregnancy and pregnancy do not get vaccinated against rubella virus, monthly tests are carried out to detect a potential infection. Also, pregnant women are advised to stay away from people infected with this disease.

Tags Rubella for children Contagious diseases