Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) results from fetal infection with rubella virus following primary maternal infection. CRS was initially described in 1941 by Gregg, an Australian ophthalmologist who noted cataracts and congenital heart defects among 71 infants born to mothers who had rubella infection during pregnancy. CRS did not gain widespread recognition until the worldwide rubella pandemic from 1962 to 1964. In the United States during that time, 20,000 infants developed CRS and an additional 10,000 stillbirths occurred. Live-attenuated rubella vaccine was developed in 1969, and routine immunization of young children and at-risk women of childbearing age has markedly reduced the incidence of CRS. Rubella and congenital rubella syndrome were declared eradicated in the United States in 2004 and in the Americas in 2015. However, rubella remains common in other parts of the world, and imported cases of CRS are still seen.
KeywordsCataract Cardiac malformations Rubella Sensorineural hearing loss
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