Congenital Rubella Syndrome
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Rubella is an infection caused by a virus. If a pregnant woman has it, she can pass it to her baby. This can lead to defects, miscarriage, or stillbirth. Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) is the name for these health problems.
CRS is caused by an infection of the rubella virus. A mother has it first. Then it passes to the baby in her womb. It causes problem with how the baby grows.
There is a shot for rubella. If the mother has not had it, the baby has a higher risk of infection.
The infection causes the most harm to the baby in the first three months of pregnancy.
Symptoms can differ in each child. It depends on the timing of the infection. Some problems are:
You will be asked about your child's symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Your child may have:
Treatment will depend on the results of the infection. Certain eye and heart problems may be treated with surgery shortly after birth. There are programs that can help babies with hearing loss, eyesight problems, or intellectual problems. Talk with your doctor about the best way to treat your child.
If a mother gets a rubella shot, it can prevent CRS. Women can also be checked for immunity at premarital, preconception, or pregnancy exams.
Babies with CRS can spread the infection. People taking care of your child should be vaccinated.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Congenital rubella syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated August 121, 2016. Accessed June 27, 2018.
McLean H, Redd S, et al. Chapter 15: Congenital rubella syndrome. VPD Surveillance Manual\. 5th ed. 2012. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed June 27, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 6/27/2018
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.