What you need to know about 'tigdas hangin' or German measles
What is Tigdas Hangin?
German measles, or 'tigdas hangin' as it's more commonly known in the Philippines, is a contagious viral disease that can cause rashes, as well as a mild fever.
Despite the name, the virus that causes German measles is different from full-blown measles. German measles is also known by the name Rubella.
Preschool and school-age children are commonly affected by this virus.
Should I be worried if my child gets it?
To young children, German measles (tigdas hangin ), or rubella, isn't particularly dangerous. At most, an infected child would have rashes as well as a low fever if they get infected.
The biggest risk however, is for unborn babies. In fact, the rubella vaccine was developed specifically so that pregnant women don't acquire the infection, as women who were infected with rubella during the first trimester have an 85% chance of giving birth to a baby with congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).
That's why it's important for pregnant mothers, or mothers who wish to conceive, to get vaccinated against rubella in order to ensure that their babies won't get sick.
For older babies however, rubella is generally harmless, and moms shouldn't be too worried about it.
How can it be treated?
For children with rubella, treatment is relatively straightforward. The first symptoms are usually red rashes throughout the body, and a fever. Rubella also usually goes away within 3 days, so make sure to give your child lots of fluids and let them get enough rest as well as fever medicine.
If possible, it would also be best if you can visit a doctor, since the symptoms of rubella, measles, and scarlet fever can be similar. So if you're not sure if your child has rubella or not, it's best to take them to a doctor just so you can rule out other illnesses. It also helps if you inform your doctor about it, since there could possibly be an outbreak of rubella in your area.
Rubella is very contagious, so make sure your child stays at home so that they don't infect other children.
How can it be prevented?
Nowadays, rubella is a rare occurrence since a rubella vaccine has already been developed. The vaccine is usually given between 12 and 15 months, and again between 4 and 6 years of age.
So make sure that your child is vaccinated on time, so that they won't get infected by the virus. Vaccination also helps other kids from getting infected, so make it a point to get your child vaccinated against various diseases.
If you're pregnant, you also need to get vaccinated in order to avoid being infected by rubella since it can cause a lot of complications for your unborn baby.