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April 1967

The Epidemiology of Rubella

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md
From the Section on Infectious Diseases, Perinatal Research Branch, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness and the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1967;77(4):427-429. doi:10.1001/archopht.1967.00980020429002

THE EPIDEMIC of rubella 25 years ago in Australia resulted in the first recognition of the significance of this infection as a cause of defective children. It was following this epidemic that the ophthalmologist Sir Norman Gregg noted a high frequency of cataracts in children and recognized the association between rubella in the first trimester of pregnancy and damage to the eye.1 Since that time a number of studies have confirmed and extended these observations. The frequency of abnormal pregnancy outcomes is approximately 50% if rubella occurs in the first month of pregnancy, 22% if it occurs in the second month of pregnancy, and 6% if it occurs in the third month of pregnancy.2,3 In addition to the malformations of the eyes, heart, deafness, microcephaly, and mental retardation, in the last few years we have become aware that congenital rubella may also result in hepatosplenomegaly, thrombocytopenia, jaundice, pneumonitis,

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