Pediatric Rubella in Emergency Medicine Clinical Presentation

Updated: May 03, 2017
  • Author: Pamela L Dyne, MD; Chief Editor: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD  more...
  • Print


See the list below:

  • The incubation period of rubella is 14-23 days.

  • The prodrome is characterized by the following:

    • Malaise

    • Fever

    • Anorexia

    • Headache

    • Mild conjunctivitis

    • Rhinorrhea

  • The rash develops within 1-5 days of symptom onset, starting on the face and forehead and spreading caudally to involve the trunk and extremities.

    • The rash tends to clear in the same order as it appeared.

    • The rash may be pruritic, but it usually resolves within 3 days without residua.



See the list below:

  • Lymphadenopathy may be present, particularly in the posterior auricular, posterior cervical, and suboccipital chains.

  • The rash consists of pink macules and papules, which may become confluent, resulting in a scarlatiniform eruption.

  • Petechiae of the soft palate, known as the Forchheimer sign, may be present.



Rubella is caused by a single-stranded RNA togavirus.