Rubella is a common childhood illness caused by a virus, although it can affect people of any age. The illness spreads from person to person through coughs and sneezes. Symptoms are often mild and may include low fever, swollen glands, rash, and red bumps on the roof of the mouth. The most serious danger of rubella is to pregnant women and the developing fetus. Women of childbearing age should check with their health care providers to make sure they are protected.