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What is rubella?

Rubella is an infection caused by a virus. It is sometimes called German measles, although it is not related to measles itself.

People with rubella often get a skin rash and joint pain. In most people, rubella is a mild disease, but it can have severe consequences for an unborn baby. If a pregnant woman contracts rubella, her baby is at risk of severe and permanent birth defects or miscarriage/death.


Rubella is a viral illness that causes both a skin rash and painful joints. Rubella is sometimes referred to as German measles, but it is a different disease to measles. 

Sources & Citations

Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Rubella. Available at: (accessed 14 October 2022).

MAT-AU-2202828  Date of preparation October 2022