About 50 percent of people infected with rubella develop related symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can include:
- Mild fever
- Swollen lymph glands behind the ears and/or neck
- Rash (see Rubella Rash or Rubella Pictures)
- Joint pain and swelling
- Muscle and body aches
- Testicular pain
- Red, watery eyes (pink eye).
In order to make a diagnosis, the healthcare provider will ask a number of questions about a person's medical history and perform a physical exam to look for signs or symptoms of the disease. Diagnosing rubella can often be done just based on a person's symptoms and findings on the physical exam.
Several other medical conditions can have signs or symptoms that are similar to those of rubella. The healthcare provider will consider these conditions and rule them out as part of confirming the diagnosis. Some of these conditions include:
- Mononucleosis (mono)
- Scarlet fever
- Reaction to medications
- Kawasaki syndrome.
There is currently no treatment that can kill the virus (antibiotics are not effective against viruses). Therefore, rubella treatment focuses on providing relief of symptoms as the body fights the virus. This is called supportive care and can include rest, fluids, and medications (such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen) to control fever or pain.