What is German Measles – Is it Different From Regular Measles?

What Is German Measles? Also known as rubella, German measles is an infection of the skin and lymph nodes. Regular measles, known as rubeola, infects the respiratory system. They are caused by two completely different viruses and there is no connection between the two.

How Contagious Is It?

Both types of measles are spread through nose and mouth fluids which is similar to the way that the common cold is spread. Both are highly contagious. German measles has an incubation period of between 2-3 weeks, where there are no symptoms but the person is still contagious. The virus can also be present on the skin, as well as in urine and feces.

How Serious Is It?

While measles can be a very serious condition with many complications, German measles is generally mild and lasts for 3 days or so. The main symptom is a pink spotty rash that starts on the face and spreads to the arms and torso. Other symptoms include mild fever, headaches, swollen glands, joint pain and red eyes. Pregnant women who have been exposed to the virus should see a doctor as soon as possible, as there is a risk to the unborn child.

How Is It Treated?

Mainstream medicine does not have a specific treatment for German measles, and instead focuses on managing the symptoms and easing discomfort. Since the duration of the symptoms is usually short, bed rest and lots of fluids will help. Other remedies, such as herbal teas, aromatherapy and homeopathic medicines, can alleviate symptoms and speed up healing.