Rubella (German Measles) is an infectious disease that is caused by a virus. It can cause a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or over, a distinctive red-pink rash, swollen glands around the head and neck, cold-like symptoms such as a cough and runny nose and aching and painful joints (more common in adults). It is a very mild version of measles that isn't much of a problem unless contracted during the first four months of pregnancy. It's usually a mild condition that gets better without treatment in 7 to 10 days.

The rubella virus is passed on through droplets in the air from the coughs and sneezes of infected people, and it is about as infectious as flu. Anyone can get rubella, but young children are most commonly affected.

Very rarely, a pregnant woman can catch rubella and pass it to her unborn baby. This is called congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). In 2005 (the latest year with available figures) there were four cases of pregnant women catching rubella in the UK.

If rubella is not caught within the first three months of the pregnancy, it can cause damage in 90% of unborn babies, including:

  • eye problems, such as cataracts (cloudy patches on the lens of the eye),
  • deafness,
  • heart abnormalities, and
  • brain damage.

Epidemics of this viral infection seem to occur every three or four years. It is another rash condition, which this time starts behind the ears and spreads to the rest of the body. In some cases no rash appears and the child is only feverish and generally feeling under the weather.

It is possible to be immunised against rubella. The vaccine is offered to all children as part of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunisation programme, which was introduced in 1988. Between 1982 and 1988, rubella caused serious birth defects in 43 babies. However, following the introduction of the MMR vaccine, rubella has now almost been wiped out.

For Aromatherapy perposes treat in the same way as all viral infections by spraying an anti-viral oil or using diffusers to clear the atmosphere. Also, add 4 drops of one of the oils below or 4 drops of the synergistic blend to a pint ( 2 cups) of warm water and use this to sponge the child down once a day:

Tea tree

Lavender 15 drops
Camomile 15 drops
Tea tree 5 drops
Sponge down the child once a day.

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