In 1941 Gregg1 reported from Australia a series of 78 congenital cataracts in babies whose mothers had suffered from rubella during the early stages of pregnancy. The cataracts were of a dense nuclear type different in appearance from any of the morphologic types of congenital and developmental opacities reported previously. In 44 of the patients a congenital lesion of the heart was also detected.
According to Swan and co-workers,2 it appears that when a woman contracts rubella during the first two months of pregnancy the chances of her giving birth to a congenitally defective child are 100 per cent. If she contracts the disease in the third month, the chances fall off to 50 per cent. If the disease occurs after the third month, there is only a slight likelihood that the child will be congenitally defective.
The abnormalities observed in the 41 children examined by Swan and co-workers in
FRANZ ALTMANN, ALBERT DINGMANN. CONGENITAL DEAFNESS AND CATARACT FOLLOWING RUBELLA IN THE MOTHER. Arch Otolaryngol. 1945;42(1):51–52. doi:10.1001/archotol.1945.00680040065009