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MMR Vaccine Against Rubella

Rubella is a viral disease that is highly contagious. Other names for rubella include German measles or three-day measles. In most cases, this illness is mild at first, causing low fever, sore throat, or rash that spreads all over the body. If a pregnant woman is infected with rubella, however, the virus can cause fetal death or their child to be born with birth defects called congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).

Birth defects caused by CRS include:

  • Heart problems
  • Intellectual / cognitive disabilities
  • Liver damage
  • Spleen damage
  • Loss of hearing
  • Loss of eyesight
  • Brain damage
  • Inflammation of the lungs
  • Thyroid problems and other hormone imbalances
  • Low birth weight
  • Birth with skin rash
  • Glaucoma

Because of how effective the vaccine is, federal health agencies have declared rubella eliminated in the United States. The vaccine is safe and highly effective. Known as the MMR vaccine, this vaccine immunizes the individual against measles, mumps, and rubella. It is important to get immunized before becoming pregnant, but pregnant women should not receive the MMR vaccine. Ask your doctor if you have questions about pregnancy and rubella.

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