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A Grandmother's Story of the German Measles

Back in the 1970s, my daughter was in her third trimester and was expecting her first child.  She and her family were beyond excited for the new addition, and to start down the path of parenthood.

One day, a neighbor child came over to visit with his parents.  We later found out that boy had German Measles, otherwise known as Rubella.  My daughter soon came down with the German Measles, spiked a really high fever, and we then learned that her baby had died in utero. 

There truly are no words to accurately express the pain a mother feels when she has to deliver a stillborn baby.

It was recently announced that the German Measles has been eliminated from the Americas, a true win for vaccines, and news that makes me extremely happy.  The German Measles is particularly dangerous for pregnant women.  If a pregnant woman contracts rubella while pregnant, she can have a miscarriage or her baby can be born with certain birth defects. 

I am so happy that American women will not have to endure what my daughter did so many years ago.  But it is also important to remember that the German Measles will only stay “wiped away” from the Americas if we continue to vaccinate against it.  The vaccine for the German Measles is MMR, which stands for Measles, Mumps and Rubella.  Rubella is the virus that causes the German Measles.  The MMR vaccine also protects against the measles, which recently had a recurrence in the United States. 

I’m happy to report that my daughter was able to carry another baby to term, which helped her to heal from this horrible experience. 

This story was shared with Immunize Nevada by Brooke Lynes, who is a proud grandmother that lives just outside of Pyramid Lake, Nevada.  


Photo credit: Time Magazine.