5 Common Viral Infections During Pregnancy You Should Be Aware Of

Written by Maanasi • 

Delivering a baby and taking care of him or her as a mother is one of the most precious experiences in the life of a woman.

Just as during pregnancy, whatever the mother ingests is passed on to the baby after delivery too! Similarly, if she acquires some viral infection or diseases during pregnancy, chances are that the child may suffer from some related problems even if he is saved from infection.

Viral Infections During Pregnancy:

As humans grow, they tend to become immune to many infections. Nowadays, gynecologists take care to immunize the pregnant women from common infections, so the chances of infections during pregnancy reduce further.

  • Most infections do not pass on to the baby; however, there are chances of transmission during birth or through the placenta.
  • If this happens then it can cause serious consequences and lead to complications such as preterm labor.

[ Read : How To Avoid Infections During Pregnancy ]

Here is a list of some viral infections that affect pregnant women:

1. Chickenpox:

Chickenpox is a viral infection caused due to the virus varicella-zoster.

  • When a pregnant woman is infected by chickenpox during the first quarter of her pregnancy, there is a risk that the virus may cross the placenta and infect the baby leading to serious complications.
  • This can lead to birth defects in the child such as cell loss of the brain’s cerebral cortex, leg deformities, a kidney problem known as hydronephrosis, abnormalities in the retina and more.
  • In case the baby is exposed to chickenpox during delivery, it can cause abnormality in central nervous system.

2. Enterovirus Infections:

These infections indicate virus subgroups such as hepatitis, poliovirus, coxsackievirus of which the hepatitis virus is more common.

  • These viruses can infect the skin, lungs, central nervous system and can prove to be fatal for both the mother and the fetus.
  • Hepatitis A and B are both common viral infections that can be dangerous if not treated in their first stages.

[ Read : Skin Allergy During Pregnancy ]

3. Hepatitis A Infection:

As compared to Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A is a milder virus and transmits into the human body when exposed to contaminated excreta or stool.

  • Common symptoms of this viral infection during pregnancy include fatigue, jaundice, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea and nausea.
  • However; it is very difficult to detect hepatitis A, as these symptoms are almost common in most of the viral diseases.
  • Secondly, some patients never suffer from these symptoms even if they are infected with hepatitis A.
  • The good news is that this infection does not cause any long-term side effects on both the mother and the baby. Prevention is possible by immunizing the mother with hepatitis A vaccine.

[ Read : Fever During Pregnancy ]

4. Hepatitis B Viral Infection:

This is a very serious viral infection and affects the working of the liver.

  • Symptoms are almost similar to those in hepatitis A; however, they are more severe in hepatitis B.
  • It requires immediate treatment or else can cause long-term side effects in the mother including liver cancer, liver scarring, liver failure and also death.

[ Read : Hepatitis B In Pregnancy ]

5. Cytomegalovirus:

Cytomegalovirus or CMW causes benign infection. This herpes virus commonly infects newborn and young children.

  • Pregnant women who work in nurseries and day care centers are more at risk. Hence, they should practice good hygiene and wash their hands with a disinfectant every time they are exposed to urine or saliva.
  • It is the most common virus that affects around 0.5%-1.5 percentage births and the research suggest that around 40 % maternal infections of CMW are caused due to congenital infection.

[ Read : Herpes During Pregnancy ]

Many more viral infections are known to affect pregnant women. Although it is indeed difficult to avoid the infection sources during your pregnancy, you can reduce the chances of acquiring an infection by getting immunized and practicing good hygiene.

At the earliest sign of any symptom mentioned above, we urge you to seek medical assistance immediately.

Share your thoughts about viral infections in pregnancy in the section below.

References : 1

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