Dengue Fever In Pregnancy – Causes, Symptoms, Risks, Treatment And Prevention
Any form of ailment during pregnancy can be worrisome. So if you get dengue during pregnancy, it can be a matter of concern. Due to their weakened immunity, pregnant women are more suscceptible to dengue virus. Continue reading to understand more about this disease and its effects on pregnancy and what the treatment and prevention options are.
Causes Of Dengue Fever During Pregnancy
Dengue is a viral disease transmitted to people by certain species of mosquito called Aedes aegypti. Dengue thrives in tropical regions where the climate is warm and humid. There are four types of the dengue virus. Therefore, if you get infected with one type of virus at any time, it gives lifelong immunity to that type but there is still a possibility that you can get infected by the other three types later. Since dengue is a mosquito-borne illness, the number of the dengue cases shoot up during the monsoon season, the period in which the mosquitoes thrive due to stagnant water. Aedes mosquitoes are more active during the day especially early morning and late afternoon.
What Are The Symptoms Of Dengue Fever During Pregnancy?
The symptoms of the dengue fever appear 72 hours after the virus strays into the body after a mosquito bite. Most of the signs of dengue fever are quite similar to that of flu. Initial signs include:
Pain behind the eyes which increases with eye movements
Loss of appetite
Severe body pain and joint pain
Low platelet count
Severe drop in the platelet count can result in low blood pressure and may lead to bleeding. This life threating condition is known as dengue hemorrhagic fever
Risks From Dengue Fever During Pregnancy
Dengue fever in pregnancy can generate a lot of health complications for both the mother and the unborn baby. This is because as the immune system is suppressed during pregnancy, the chances are that pregnant women can have a severe form of dengue. Also, the virus can be transmitted to the unborn baby during pregnancy or birth. There may be a need for a caesarean section if you have dengue at any time during pregnancy. Some of the complications that can emerge during pregnancy due dengue fever are:
Thrombocytopenia: The drop in the platelet level is one of the significant signs of dengue. Low platelet count during pregnancy can be life-threatening for both the mother and the baby. Severe thrombocytopenia can develop complications with the use of epidural or general anesthesia in the course of delivery
Miscarriage: Dengue during the first trimester increases the chances of miscarriage
Risk of hemorrhage: If the mother is infected with dengue virus during delivery, the risk of hemorrhage is very high
Preeclampsia: The chances of developing preeclampsia increases if the pregnant woman catches dengue fever during pregnancy
Dengue hemorrhagic fever: The severe form of dengue, dengue haemorrhagic fever, can be fatal for the baby
The risk of passing dengue fever to your baby will happen only if you have this illness towards the end of your pregnancy, otherwise, the chances of passing the virus to the fetus are very low. Generally, dengue is not known to cause any physical deformity in kids but you have to, however, be careful to prevent infection from spreading to your newborn baby. Your baby will be investigated for symptoms like fever, low platelet count and rashes in case you had dengue at the time of delivery.
How Is Dengue Fever Treated During Pregnancy?
Early diagnosis is significant in the effective treatment of dengue. Therefore, if flu-like symptoms persist or if you develop severe abdominal pain and vomiting after the fever subsides, go for a blood test to confirm dengue fever.
The treatment of dengue fever during pregnancy is same as that of any normal dengue fever case. Taking timely measures for safety will ensure that you and your baby are healthy.