There has been a suggestion that esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula (EA/TEF) may be related to the occurrence of infectious disease in the population during the time of early gestation. There is therefore a need for further data on trends in incidence related to infectious diseases. Data on the occurrence of EA/TEF with and without additional congenital malformations may also be relevant. The British Columbia Health Surveillance Registry is population-based with excellent case ascertainment of birth defects, and data are available on the incidence of infectious diseases for B.C., allowing comparison of trends to be made. One hundred forty-nine cases of EA/TEF occurred among 534,834 consecutive livebirths during the period 1966-1980 for an incidence rate of 1/3,590. No significant (p less than 0.05) annual, seasonal or monthly incidence trends were observed. In addition, the occurrence of EA/TEF could not be correlated with the prior incidence of infectious hepatitis, rubella, salmonella, or rubeola. Fifty-five percent of individuals with EA/TEF had congenital malformations in other systems, most frequently cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary. Most individuals with additional congenital malformations had multiple system involvement.