Rubella spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Also, if a woman is infected with rubella while she is pregnant, she can pass it to her developing baby and cause serious harm. See Pregnancy and Rubella page to learn more.
A person with rubella may spread the disease to others up to one week before the rash appears, and remain contagious up to 7 days after. However, 25% to 50% of people infected with rubella do not develop a rash or have any symptoms, but they still spread it to others.
People infected with rubella should tell friends, family, and people they work with, especially pregnant women, if they have rubella. If your child has rubella, it’s important to tell your child’s school or daycare provider.