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October 30, 1948


JAMA. 1948;138(9):653-654. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900090027011

Since Gregg and his associates1 presented original evidence that maternal rubella infection in early pregnancy appeared responsible for the frequent development of congenital anomalies in infants subsequently delivered, evidence for the truth of this influencing factor has grown rapidly. Anomalies most commonly noted have been ocular defects, deafness, heart lesions, microcephalus, mental retardation and dental defects. Estimates of percentage involvement of the fetus from maternal rubella during the first three months of pregnancy range from 90 per cent (Australia) to 27 per cent (United States), with a graded decreasing expected anomaly rate from rubella infection in later pregnancy. Reports have been made of anomalous development following maternal infection in the eighth and ninth month of pregnancy. A woman contracting rubella during pregnancy has now approximately a ten to one chance of subsequently being delivered of a congenitally defective child.2

Fetal injury is believed to occur as a result