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Dengue Fever in Pregnancy

 

Any type of illness is a reason to worry when you are pregnant. If you happen to catch dengue, then you need to take proper treatment and rest to avoid severe complications.

There can be different stages of severity for dengue. The way you manage your condition and take care of yourself will determine how much harm the virus can cause.

Symptoms of Dengue:

When you are affected by dengue, you will observe the following symptoms, which are quite related to flu:

  • High fever and shivering
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Dehydration and loss of taste for food
  • Severe headache and body pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low platelet count in severe cases
  • Rashes on upper body

If the platelet count falls, the blood pressure goes low and you may experience bleeding. This condition is known as dengue hemorrhagic fever and can be life-threatening.

Dengue Risks to Your Baby:

There are some risk factors to your growing baby caused by dengue virus infection:

  • Preterm birth, which hinders the complete growth of your baby
  • Low birth weight
  • In case fever happens in early pregnancy, it can lead to miscarriage
  • If you happen to catch dengue hemorrhagic fever, it can be fatal for your baby

On an average, dengue is not known to cause any physical abnormalities in children. Also, there is no risk of passing the infection to your baby in the fetus. You have to, however, be careful to prevent infection from spreading to your newborn. In case you have dengue at the time of your delivery, your baby will be checked for symptoms like fever, low platelet count and rashes.

Management of Dengue in Pregnancy:

Management of dengue during pregnancy is quite similar to that in usual cases. You will be advised to undergo a blood test to check whether you are positive for dengue, and to determine the level of infection.

  1. To prevent dehydration due to vomiting, drink lots of water and fresh juices. Being hydrated is important in maintaining embryonic fluid levels.
  2. Pain killers and antibiotics are given to control fever and joint or muscle aches.
  3. Do not take any over-the-counter medicines, especially aspirin and related drugs, as they may not be safe during pregnancy.
  4. Your blood pressure and platelet count will be monitored.
  5. Infusion of platelets might be required in extreme cases.
  6. If there is excess bleeding, blood transfusion might be needed
  7. Oxygen and intravenous fluid may be given as needed

Prevention of Dengue:

To guard yourself from dengue fever during pregnancy, you must take the following precautions:

  1. Keep your surroundings clean and remove any stagnant water around your home.
  2. Wear light-colored, full-sleeved clothes to prevent mosquito bites.
  3. Use a mosquito repellant that is safe to use in pregnant women.
  4. Use mosquito nets at night and use mosquito sprays or coils to ward off mosquitoes.
  5. Try to stay in a cool room, as mosquitoes prefer warm environments.

Remember that you are responsible for guarding your baby from dengue infection. Taking timely measures for safety will guarantee that you and your baby will be healthy.

 

-Medical Observer

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