Difference Between Measles And Rubella

Both measles and rubella are caused by an RNA virus and are spread through respiratory droplets produced by sick people. Measles and rubella have similar symptoms like a rash. The rash is slightly different between the two. The major difference between measles and rubella is that Measles is an infectious disease caused by an RNA virus, called a paramyxovirus. RNA virus can remain alive in the air for a maximum of two hours. On the other hand, rubella is a virus that has RNA along with nucleic acid. Rubella can be transmitted by respiratory secretions, from coughing or sneezing individuals, similar to measles.

Difference Between Measles And Rubella in Tabular Form


It is more infectious and dangerous. Rubella is less infectious and dangerous than measles;
Highly contagious Not as contagious
Symptoms in patients can last up to ten days In patients, its symptoms can last up to 5 days
Incubation of 1 – 2 weeks. Incubation of 2 – 3 weeks.
Prodromal stage: Present Prodromal stage: Absent
Lymph nodes are not swelled. Lymph nodes are swelled.
Photophobia: Present Photophobia: Absent (Not seen)
High fever >40°C Low fever < 38.3°C
The rash is blotched with spots. The rash is spotted.

Measles Vs. Rubella – Overview

Measles and rubella are normally spread through the respiratory droplets of infected people. They are both caused by an RNA virus. Measles and rubella both have similar types of symptoms. The rash in both diseases is slightly different. MMR vaccine is for the prevention of both diseases. During the prodromal stage, the disease is most contagious and the person remains infectious for quite some time. About 90% of exposed people get sick with measles.


Measles is a contagious viral disease marked by fever, cough, conjunctivitis, and a characteristic rash. It is the most common disease in babies while may appear in older persons who escaped it earlier in life. An infant is immune up to four or five months of age if the mother has had the disease.

Symptoms and Causes of Measles

It is highly communicable which slightest contact with an active case may infect a susceptible person. Redness and watering of the eyes, profuse nasal discharge, and congestion of the mucous membranes of the nose and throat can be seen after an incubation period of about 10 days, the patient develops a fever. The period of invasion lasts for 49 to 95 hours. The patient’s fever increases with the appearance of a blotched rash, and the temperature rises as high as 40 °C (about 105 °F) when the rash reaches its maximum.

Treatment and complications

There is no drug is effective against measles. The treatment that helps to control fever is rest in bed, protection of the eyes, care of the bowels, and sometimes steam inhalations to relieve irritation of the bronchial tree.


It is also a viral disease that runs a mild benign course in most persons. It is not common and serious in children and adults, while it can cause birth defects or the loss of a fetus of a mother in the early stages become infected after pregnancy. Rubella is caused by a virus that also has RNA as its nucleic acid. Rubella is transmitted by respiratory secretions, from coughing or sneezing individuals, similar to the measles. German physician Daniel Sennert was the first who described rubella in 1619.

Causes and Symptoms

The virus is spread out by respiratory route, being shed in droplets of respiratory secretions from an infected person. The period of incubation is 12 to 19 days. Sore throat and fever, followed by swollen glands and a rash that lasts about three days are the major symptoms of rubella.

Rubella Treatment

MMR vaccine is a medicine’s best defense against rubella. Rubella incidence decreased as vaccination programs started. MMR vaccine protects against four diseases: measles, rubella, mumps, and varicella (chickenpox).

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