- An acute but mild exanthematous disease caused by r. virus (Rubivirus family Togaviridae), with enlargement of lymph node s, but usually with little fever or constitutional reaction; a high incidence of birth defects in children results from maternal infection during the first trimester of fetal life (congenital r. syndrome). SYN: epidemic roseola, German measles, röteln, roetheln, third disease, three-day measles. [L. rubellus, fem. -a, reddish, dim. of ruber, red]
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* * *ru·bel·la (roo-belґə) [L., from rubellus reddish, from ruber red] an acute, usually benign, infectious disease caused by viruses of genus Rubivirus, a togavirus, affecting most often children and nonimmune young adults. The virus enters the respiratory tract via droplet nuclei and spreads to the lymphatic system. The first symptoms are a slight cold, sore throat, and fever, followed by enlargement of the postauricular, suboccipital, and cervical lymph nodes, and later appearance of a fine pink rash that begins on the head and spreads to become generalized. Transplacental infection of the fetus as a result of maternal infection in the first trimester can cause death of the conceptus or developmental anomalies in the newborn infant (see congenital rubella syndrome, under syndrome). Called also German measles and three-day measles. In French and Spanish the word rubeola is used for this disease.
Medical dictionary. 2011.