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Pregnancy and infectious diseases

Chickenpox

Chickenpox is one of childhood diseases caused by a virus called "varicella zoster". Although it is a childhood disease, chickenpox can rarely be seen in adults. The difference between the disease seen in adults and children is much more serious or even fatal. Passing chickenpox during pregnancy causes many deadly risks, especially pneumonia.

Therefore, it should be examined whether the expectant mother who came into contact with someone who had chickenpox during her pregnancy is immune in no time. For this, a simple blood test is enough. Chickenpox is not among the routine pregnancy reviews, as about 90 percent of women of maternal age are immune. Mothers who have come into contact with chickenpox and are not immune should be administered a protective serum (immunoglobulin) in the first 96 hours after contact.

Chickenpox during pregnancy should be closely monitored for the risks that may occur, especially pneumonia. In terms of the baby, chickenpox passed in the first trimelon of pregnancy leads to anomalies, while infection passed just before birth can cause the new nature to become severely infected. It is recommended not to get pregnant for three months after getting chickenpox vaccine due to possible side effects on the baby.

Rubella

The rubella virus called "Rubella" can cause serious damage or miscarriages in the baby in the womb. Especially rubella infection in the first trimeque can cause eye problems, hearing loss, heart abnormalities, mental retardation and spasticity, which can result in vision loss and complete blindness. In addition, rubella during pregnancy often causes miscarriages and stillbirths. It is recommended to end early pregnancies with rubella infection.

The damage caused by rubella in the baby is incurable but preventable. It is a suitable approach for all expectant mothers who do not know if they have rubella in childhood to have a blood test before they become pregnant and to vaccinate people who are not immune. Women who plan and vaccinate for pregnancy are not allowed to conceive for three months. In expectant mothers who are screened for rubella after becoming pregnant and cannot be immunised, vaccination cannot be given. In such a case, the person should avoid children who have rubella during their pregnancy.

Mumps

Mumps disease causes a significant increase in the risk of miscarriage in the first trimeques of pregnancy. Mumps infection, which is passed in case of miscarriage, does not cause any damage to the baby. Therefore, it is not necessary to terminate the pregnancy in a woman who comes into contact with mumps in the early stages of pregnancy.

Toxoplasma

Toxoplasma is a parasite that can breed only in the intestine of cats. The parasite, which is excreted with the feces of the cat that catches the infection for 2-3 weeks, is often transmitted to humans through nutrients transmitted by cat feces. In addition, parasites that settle in the muscles of animals such as cattle and sheep, which feed on grasses contaminated with cat feces, can be transmitted to humans by consuming them with meat that is not cooked well.

Cats infected with toxoplasma do not have parasites in their feces after 2-3 weeks. Once the cat has a toxoplasma infection, they become immune and do not carry the risk of toxoplasma, as they will not be reinfected later. Since stray cats usually pass this infection very early in their lives and become immune, it is very unlikely that the toxoplasm will be transmitted from large stray cats. Similarly, domestic cats that do not feed on raw meat, eat only dry food and are not taken out on the street, are also impossible to infect.

Approximately 30-40 percent of expectant mothers who have toxoplasma during pregnancy pass the disease on to their babies. The risk of infection in the mother affecting the baby is directly related to the gestational age. The risk of transmission to the baby is higher in the last three months of pregnancy (about 70 percent), and in the first trimelon, the damage to the baby is more severe, although the baby is less likely to get an infection (about 15 percent). In other words, it is easier for the baby to get an infection in the last three months, but it is extremely unlikely to cause harm, while the infection, which is very difficult in the first trimest, causes more serious problems.

Toxoplasma infection in the first trimeque can cause miscarriage or stillbirths, while other effects of toxoplasma are brain damage, brain water collection (hydrocephalus), epilepsy, vision and hearing impairments, and central nervous system damage such as development and mental retardation. The fact that the expectant mother has toxoplasma disease, regardless of the period of pregnancy, does not necessarily mean that there will be damage to the baby. In such a case, detailed ultrasonography investigates whether toxoplasma causes damage to the baby.

Flu infection

Pregnancy flu infection does not pose a risk to the baby. However, when a pregnant woman catches the flu, there is a higher risk of infection-related complications. On the other hand, a mother-to-be who has the flu in the last days of pregnancy is likely to pass her postpartum disease on to her baby.

The flu vaccine is a safe vaccine that does not contain live viruses and can be used during pregnancy, and expectant mothers who are in the second or third trimeth of pregnancy may be advised to get a flu vaccine. Especially for all pregnant women with risk factors such as diabetes, asthma and hypertension, flu vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis and AIDS

Hepatitis B virus causes inflammation in the liver and is a virus with a very high carrier rate in our country. Therefore, hepatitis B screening should be performed with the tests performed at the beginning of pregnancy. In the case of HBsAg positivity, the carrier of the disease and the anti-HBs positivity are the immune. In the presence of hepatitis-B carriership of the expectant mother, the baby will need to be vaccinated immediately after birth and administered a protective serum (immunoglobulin).

Hepatitis C and HIV viruses are a disease that causes more severe consequences than hepatitis-B, but is less frequently observed in society. Especially in expectant mothers who have had blood transfusions, used drugs or have been diagnosed with this disease in family members in the past, these diseases should be screened. Hepatitis-C and AIDS screening is not required in expectant mothers who do not have these risk factors.

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