Infectious Diseases: Dangerous Babies

If a woman gets German measles (rubella) in the first three months of pregnancy, or even during the four weeks before conception, there is grave danger that her baby will be born with severe cataracts, mental retardation or heart defects, or a combination of these handicaps. That much has been clear for years. But now German measles has been disclosed as an even more insidious crippler than anyone had thought possible.

Eight nurses and a doctor at New York University Hospital contracted rubella last fall, and some of them passed on the infection to roommates, family and friends. The nurses...

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