MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
German measles. A young child with a rash of German measles (rubella) sits in the bath. German measles is a viral disease that mostly affects children, causing mild symptoms including a light rash that lasts several days. The disease causes much more serious damage, however, if a woman is infected during the early months of pregnancy and the virus is passed to the foetus. If this occurs there is a strong chance that the baby will be born with severe abnormalities, such as deafness, heart disease or mental retardation. Rubella is prevented by vaccination, which is given to babies in the triple MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.
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