Signs and Symptoms

Boy with body rash

In children, rubella is usually mild, with few noticeable symptoms. For children who do have symptoms, a red rash is typically the first sign. The rash generally first appears on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body, and lasts about three days. Other symptoms that may occur 1 to 5 days before the rash appears include:

  • a low-grade fever
  • headache
  • mild pink eye (redness or swelling of the white of the eye)
  • general discomfort
  • swollen and enlarged lymph nodes
  • cough
  • runny nose

Most adults who get rubella usually have a mild illness, with low-grade fever, sore throat, and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.

Some adults may also have a headache, pink eye, and general discomfort before the rash appears.

About 25 to 50% of people infected with rubella will not experience any symptoms.

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