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March 22, 1965

Postnatal Transmission of Rubella Virus to Nurses

Author Affiliations

Departments of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and The Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore Section of Infectious Disease, Perinatal Research Branch, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, NIH

JAMA. 1965;191(12):1034. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080120068033

To the Editor:—  Since babies with the congenital rubella syndrome have been found to excrete virus,1 we should consider the possibility that such babies are contagious. This possibility appears to have become a reality in the face of a small outbreak of rubella among nurses caring for such infants at the Children's Medical and Surgical Center of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and in view of a similar outbreak reported by Cooper et al2 as this letter was being written.The original source of infection for the Johns Hopkins nurses appears to have been a group of 18 babies with congenital rubella. All but one were born to mothers who had rubella (by history) during pregnancy. Their disease was manifested by one or more of the following: low birth weight, icterus, hepatosplenomegaly, thrombocytopenic purpura, nuclear cataracts, glaucoma, patent ductus arteriosus, peripheral pulmonic stenosis, and failure to thrive. All

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