RUBELLA was first recognized as a specific clinical entity in the year 1815.1 For more than a century thereafter it was considered a mild and relatively unimportant disease of childhood. The true nature and potential severity of rubella first became apparent in 1941 when Dr. Norman Gregg, an Australian ophthalmologist, reported an "epidemic" of congenital cataracts among 78 infants born following maternal rubella infection acquired during the 1940 epidemic of rubella in Australia.2 More than half of these infants had congenital heart disease. Since 1941, Gregg's observations of the "rubella syndrome" have been amply confirmed. The occurrence of rubella during the first trimester of pregnancy has been associated with a significantly increased incidence of congenital malformations, stillbirths, and abortions. The recent epidemic of rubella in the United States in 1964 was followed by the birth of many thousands of infants with congenital rubella syndrome.
The cultivation of rubella
Cooper LZ, Krugman S. Clinical Manifestations of Postnatal and Congenital Rubella. Arch Ophthalmol. 1967;77(4):434-439. doi:10.1001/archopht.1967.00980020436004