Rubella is a highly contagious viral infection, also known as German measles. It spreads from person to person through coughing and sneezing, and can cause a rash and fever. Rubella can be dangerous for pregnant women, as it can cause birth defects in the baby. The best way to prevent rubella is to get vaccinated. The vaccine is safe and effective, and is routinely given to children as part of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. If you think you or someone in your household may have rubella, contact your healthcare provider right away.