German measles (or Rubella) is a common, mild, contagious viral infection which mainly affects children. However, it can cause major complications to an unborn child if contracted during pregnancy.


As German measles is a mild illness it does not usually cause many symptoms. In fact, your child may not look or act sick at all. Symptoms of German measles may include: Swollen glands

  • Rash on the face and the neck spreading to the trunk and limbs (appears in only about half the cases of German measles and does not last for long)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in personal care
  • In an older child or teenager, joint pain and nerves may be affecteThe virus can be extremely damaging to an unborn baby, particularly if the mother is exposed to the virus during the first three months of pregnancy. In order to reduce the incidence of birth defects, girls are now vaccinated in their teenage years in order to develop immunity to German measles before they become pregnant


German measles is caused by a virus found in the nose and throat of a patient and is passed from person to person by tiny droplets in the exhaled air.

It is also transmitted from a pregnant mother to her developing baby through the bloodstream via the placenta.

Natural Therapies

Your child should stay at home while sick or for up to a week after any rash disappears. Usually, no medical treatment of a child with German measles is required
Echinacea, zinc and vitamin A are valuable to support the immune system in fighting the infection
Ear infection occurs occasionally and should be treated by you health professional

Lifestyle Factors

Ensure the child is comfortable and warm, and drinking plenty of fluids.

People who have had German measles once develop a lifetime immunity.


If a rash is present and the skin is itchy use an oat bath. Place a handful of rolled oats into a stocking. Tie off and place under the running bath water. Bathe the affected areas or immerse the entire body in the oat bath.

Odourless Garlic for relief of symptoms associated with congestion.

Important Notes

Women who are thinking of conceiving should have their antibody levels for the Rubella virus checked by their healthcare professional. If you are pregnant and you think you have been exposed to German measles, contact your healthcare professional urgently.

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