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Although the vast majority of infections in pregnancy have no effect on the developing fetus, some can lead to severe damage and disability. Overall, infections in pregnancy are thought to be responsible for less than 1% of severe anatomical malformations but the proportion of early-onset visual and auditory impairment and cerebral palsy that they cause is greater than this. Except for rubella, they affect mainly already formed organs. Most produce no symptoms in the mother by which they can be identified. This makes serological screening of great importance. In the UK there are about 730.000 births per year. It has been recommended that a pregnant woman should attend an antenatal clinic on about 10 occasions. It is standard practice to measure the blood pressure at each antenatal visit. Therefore the blood pressure is probably measured in pregnancy on 7 or 8 million occasions in the UK each year. Measurement of the blood pressure in pregnancy is in effect screening; indeed, it must be the most frequent screening test applied in pregnancy. The reason for all this screening is that very high blood pressure in pregnancy is associated with various adverse outcomes in mother and child.