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  • What does a 1960s epidemic tell us about Zika?

    Professor Leslie Reagan

    With its easy-to-miss symptoms and link to birth defects, the Zika virus is very similar to German measles (rubella), which caused an epidemic in the U.S a half-century ago, says Illinois history professor Leslie Reagan, author of a book on that epidemic and its effects. Among those effects were changes in thinking on both abortion and disabilities.

    Photo by L. Brian Stauffer


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  • Editor's note: To contact Leslie Reagan, email

    An explanation of microcephaly can be found on this CDC web page: