Ocular manifestations of rubella virus disease in a 32-year-old female patient case report

  • Grace Ogbonna
  • Fidelis Anyika
  • Rosemary Ehigbor
Keywords: Cranial nerve palsy; eyelid ptosis; photophobia; rubella


Rubella (German measles) is a viral disease that affects all age groups. It is spread through contact with airborne droplets of the virus found in the cough or sneeze of infected people. It can also be spread through sharing of cutleries and drinks with infected persons. Following rubella infection, symptoms may be nonspecific as with most viral infections, and may include: arthralgia, cough, runny nose, low grade fever, maculopapular rashes, and lymphadenopathy. Rubella infection cannot be clinically differentiated from other viral diseases based on symptoms.  However, it is important for clinicians to know symptoms which may be suggestive of rubella for quick differentials and implementation of  precautionary measures against its spread, hence this case report. In this study, we report a case of rare ocular involvement of the third cranial  nerve in a 32-year-old black woman with rubella which resulted in pain on superior eye movement and partial eyelid ptosis. The patient also  reported experiencing blurred vision, light sensitivity, and objects appearing washed out. All her symptoms appeared 17 days after she had  embarked on an international travel (through Ethiopia) and sharing a can of drink with a child who she did not know his measles, mumps, and  rubella vaccination status. She tested positive to rubella immunoglobulin M test. However, all of the patient’s ocular symptoms resolved 6 weeks  after their onset following the resolution of the rubella symptoms.     


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2468-8363
print ISSN: 0189-9171