Medical Q&As

Rubella - is my friend safe?

If a woman is checked for rubella antibodies and is told that she has antibodies in March and she then gets pregnant in August and is exposed to another baby who has rubella, are she and her foetus safe? If antibodies are present earlier in the year, do they last? She doesn’t know if she has ever had rubella or been vaccinated. All she knows is that the doctor told her she had antibodies back in March.

Allow me to assume that the woman you refer to is a close friend of yours. Since she has rubella antibodies she must either have had rubella, or have been exposed to the virus without manifesting signs of infection or she must have been vaccinated against the virus. You cannot have rubella antibodies without being exposed to the virus. The antibodies she had in March would still have been present in August therefore she is immune to threat from the rubella virus. She has no reason to be concerned about a possible threat to her foetus from this virus.