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Rubella (German Measles)


The rash begins as discrete macules (red spots) on the face that spread to the neck, trunk, and extremities. The macules may coalesce on the trunk. Appearance of the rash corresponds with the appearance of rubella-specific antibody. The exanthem lasts 1-3 days, first leaving the face and may be followed by desquamation.


On occasion nonspecific oral lesions (an enanthem; Forscheimer's spots) consisting of pinpoint red macules and petechiae can be seen over the soft palate and uvula just before or with the skin rash (exanthem).

Forscheimer's spots
Forscheimer's spots


The hallmark of rubella is the generalized tender lymphadenopathy which involves all nodes, but which is most striking in the suboccipital, postauricular, and anterior and posterior cervical nodes. Swelling of the lymph nodes most prevalent at the time of appearance of the exanthem but may precede it by a week. The tenderness that accompanies this lymphadenopathy subsides rapidly, however the enlargement may last days or weeks.


Last revised 11/27/13

© 1996-2013 Neal Chamberlain. All rights reserved.
Site Last Revised 11/12/13
Neal Chamberlain, PhD. A. T. Still University of Health Sciences/Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Take Care and Think Microbiologically!


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