Rubella

Statutory notification

Public health management

Important information

  • Infectious agent: Rubella virus.
  • Transmission: Rubella is usually droplet spread through contact with nasopharyngeal secretions of infected people. Rubella can also be spread by touching the saliva or mucus of an infected person.
  • Incubation period: From 14 to 17 days with a range of 14 to 21 days.
  • Infectious period: For about 7 days before and at least 4 days after the rash appears.
  • Case exclusion: Exclude for 4 days after the rash appears.
  • Contact exclusion: Do not exclude. Refer pregnant contacts to their doctor.
  • Treatment: No specific anti-viral treatment. Symptomatic treatment only.
  • Immunisation: Recommended that children be vaccinated according to the Western Australian vaccination schedule. Anyone born in or after 1966 who is not immune to rubella should have 2 doses of rubella vaccine. This especially applies to women of child-bearing age, healthcare workers, and people working with children. See Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th edition, Department of Health (external site).
  • Case follow up: Is conducted by public health units (Healthy WA).
  • Note: Females should routinely be tested for immunity to rubella before becoming pregnant, and during each pregnancy. Staff working in health related areas or with children should have evidence of MMR vaccine x 2 doses, or tested for immunity to disease.

Guidelines

Notifiable disease data and reports

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Public Health