Virology: Enemies of the Unborn

The lowly cause of what is usually a lowly and unimportant disease, German measles (or rubella), long enjoyed the unsavory reputation of being the only virus clearly convicted of killing or crippling babies in the womb. But many other viruses are now emerging from researchers' culture tubes to qualify as enemies of the unborn.

A pregnant woman's viral infections may damage the baby in four ways: 1) by causing prompt abortion; 2) by killing the fetus, leading to later stillbirth; 3) by preventing normal development of organs, so that the baby is born deformed; 4) by infecting the baby so...

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