This is a condition that appears in the neonate as a result of rubella infection of the mother. The risk of developing CRS depends on the length of the pregnancy:
The occurrence of the rash associated with rubella infection is a variable feature.
Often, rubella infection of the mother causes spontaneous abortion or causes serious damage to the surviving foetus - characterised by deafness, blindness and heart defects.
The viraemia may persist throughout pregnancy and the infant may continue to excrete virus for many years after birth. The disease process continues during the period of virus excretion.
Congenital rubella has been reported after cases of rubella re-infection during pregnancy. Rubella re-infection can occur in individuals with both natural and vaccine-induced antibody.
Last reviewed 01/2018