There are many risks of infectious diseases impacting women when they are expecting. Dengue fever during pregnancy is especially dangerous as it can be transmitted to the unborn infant during pregnancy or childbirth. The disease is generally short-lived. However, the symptoms can sometimes be severe or even fatal, especially for expecting women and their unborn infants.
Dengue is a viral disease that is transmitted by mosquito bites. It is common in the tropical and humid climates of Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Plenty of rest and ample consumption of fluids is generally what medical practitioners would prescribe. Painkillers may be prescribed for fever and pain if the symptoms don’t improve 24 hours after the fever declines. It would be preferable to go to the hospital to avoid any further complications during pregnancy. Dengue in pregnancy, when detected and treated in the early stages. Can substantially lower risks to the mother and the fetus during pregnancy.
Causes for dengue during pregnancy:
The following are the most common causes of dengue in a pregnant woman.
- Dengue-carrying mosquitoes are mostly found in tropical regions and a warm and humid climate.
- These mosquitoes, AedesAegypti, are the primary cause of dengue.
- These dengue-carrying mosquitoes are most active and hence likely to bite and infect people during the early mornings and late afternoons.
- Stagnant water is where the mosquitoes breed. As Open drains, flower pots and vases and water stored without proper precautions are causes for dengue as these are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
[ See More: Reduce Fever During Pregnancy ]
Symptoms of dengue during pregnancy:
Here are some of the symptoms of dengue in pregnancy,
- The symptoms include a very high fever, muscle pain, aching of the joints and pain in the bones.
- Expecting women may also experience severe headaches, extreme pain behind the eyes, rashes and mild bleeding. This may be from the nose or gums.
- Symptoms usually last between 2 days to a week. Post the incubation period of 4-10 days following the bite from a carrier mosquito.
- In more severe cases where the patient feels worse even 24 hours after the fever declines. There may be further indications of a worsening situation called Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF). Immediate hospitalisation is recommended in cases where symptoms of DHF are diagnosed.
Complications of Dengue Fever in Pregnancy:
Symptoms and effects of dengue fever usually last for 2-7 days. There is a possibility that the effects of dengue fever during pregnancy. Can result in further complications. In severe cases, the patient feels worse even 24 hours after the fever declines. This may indicate a worsening, even fatal, a situation called Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF). The symptoms of DHF are persistent vomiting, severe abdominal pain, and difficulty in breathing. Complications of dengue fever in pregnancy. Are potentially deadly due to plasma leaking, fluid accumulation, respiratory distress, severe bleeding, or organ impairment. Dengue consists of four strains of the infectious virus. This means that you could be infected with the remaining three even if you have been infected once.
How to Treat Dengue During Pregnancy:
Treatment of dengue in pregnancy is no different from general cases of dengue. First, a blood test is done to check for infection and its severity. Blood pressure and platelet count needs are regularly reviewing. The essential methods for treatment of dengue fever in pregnancy management. Include administration of painkillers and antibiotics to reduce joint pains and aches. OTC medicines are to be avoided as they are unsafe. Consumption of a lot of fluids is prescribed as it is essential to maintain the embryonic fluid level and the level of hydration. Platelet infusion and administration of intravenous fluid and oxygen may be required. Blood transfusions may be needed in case of excessive bleeding.
[ See More: How to Treat Cold in Pregnancy ]
Precautions to take for Dengue During Pregnancy:
It is paramount to protect oneself from contracting dengue in early pregnancy.
- Get blood checks and other medical tests done regularly and seek medical advice when you are in doubt.
- Mosquitoes frequent warm environs so choose a cold room to rest during the day. Install mosquito nets and use safe mosquito sprays or repellents.
- It is advisable to apply the repellent frequently. As opposed to utilizing a larger quantity once in a while. As this provides better protection.
- Wearing full-sleeved and light coloured clothes. Also helps ward mosquitoes away.
- Cover the doors and windows with a fine mesh. And remove any stagnant water from places around the house to prevent breeding.
What are the effects of dengue during pregnancy for your unborn baby:
Dengue does not result in physical deformity of the child. And, neither does it pass on to the baby. But it is advisable to take enough precautions. So that the infection does not transfer to the baby after delivery.
- The effects of the disease passing on to the baby could result in low weight at birth or premature birth, which will impede the baby’s growth.
- More fatal consequences would be a miscarriage or else stillbirth.
These generally occur when the mother contracts DHF during pregnancy. The doctor will check the baby for a low platelet count. Fever and rashes over the body if you have contracted dengue during pregnancy.
[ See More: Remedies for Cough During Pregnancy ]
Dengue fever in first-trimester pregnancy. Though not desirable, is not as fatal as if contracted during the second or third trimesters. During the second or third trimesters, the risks of premature delivery or stillbirth are increased manifold. As a would-be mother, please ensure that you are extra-careful during pregnancy. And take the accurate precautionary measure to ensure that you are safe from illnesses like dengue. Preventing the dengue infection and taking appropriate steps such as seeking medical advice is the key. To keep yourself and the baby safe from dengue.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Dengue During Pregnancy:
Q1. Is it possible to be infected with dengue virus but have no symptoms?
Ans: Yes. Almost 50-75% of all dengue-infected people show no clinical signs or symptoms of the disease. Some infected people experience fever. But their other symptoms are mild and nonspecific. Making their dengue infection challenging to diagnose. Women, during pregnancy, who suspect they have dengue. Should consult their doctors and seek immediate medical intervention.
Q2. Do pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers need to take extra precautions?
Ans: It is possible for a pregnant woman who is infected with the dengue virus to infect her unborn baby or her newborn baby at birth. Expectant mothers must seek and receive medical attention if infected with the dengue virus. Pregnant women should focus on avoiding becoming infected by taking the proper precaution against mosquitoes.
The risk of breastfeeding in the transmission of the virus from the mother to the child is considered to be much lower than the health benefits of breastfeeding, which are much higher than the likelihood of spreading disease. New mothers should speak with their paediatrician about concerns or queries they have regarding breastfeeding and dengue risk.
Q3. If you get dengue fever once, can you get it again?
Ans: Yes. The four essential types of dengue viruses are DENV 1, DENV 2, DENV 3, and DENV 4. You are being infected with one form of dengue. Virus will not protect you or provide immunity from the other three types. It is advisable to get tested for dengue fever. After more than a week has passed from the time you were ill. And an antibody test can determine if you were previously infected with dengue. However, current testing processes do not allow for the determining of which dengue virus type you had after the first week of illness.