Recent observations, particularly from Australia, seem to indicate that rubella during early pregnancy may lead to multiple serious congenital defects in the offspring. This was first noted in 1941 by Gregg1 following a severe Australian epidemic of German measles. It is thought that crowding and troop movements may have made possible the rapid transfer of the virus from one person to another, and thus not only may have spread the epidemic but also may have caused some change in the virus.
Gregg described 78 cases of congenital cataract, 20 examined personally and the remainder reported to him by his colleagues. In 68 of these cases there was a definite history of German measles in the pregnant mother. Cardiac lesions were present in at least 44 of the 78 infants. A research team sponsored by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, consisting of Drs. Swan, Tostevin, Moore,
LONG JC, DANIELSON RW. CATARACT AND OTHER CONGENITAL DEFECTS IN INFANTS FOLLOWING RUBELLA IN THE MOTHER. Arch Ophthalmol. 1945;34(1):24–27. doi:10.1001/archopht.1945.00890190024004
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