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How does Dengue affect Women during Pregnancy?

How does Dengue affect Women during Pregnancy?

by: Dr. Jasmeet K Monga
Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynecology

Dengue is an infection which is passed on by mosquitoes. It causes a flu-like illness. In rare cases, it can develop into severe dengue, also called as dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can be deadly. The dengue virus is carried by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and spread through their bites. These mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and tend to bite during the day. They are most active in the early morning and late afternoon. The mosquitoes carry the virus for life, which is about 40 days.

Symptoms of Dengue:

Fever, headache, body ache, bone pain, weakness and fatigue. In very severe cases bleeding from gums, breathlessness, cold, clammy skin, a weak rapid pulse, dry mouth, reduced flow of urine.

Effects of Dengue in pregnancy:

Symptoms of dengue in pregnancy are same as in any other non pregnant patients. They are not more severe.it does not cause any malformation in the baby, may lead to growth retardation or premature baby. Or in some cases may lead to abortion. If the pregnant woman goes into labour while already suffering with dengue she has more chances of having heavy bleeding post delivery.

What to do if you have Dengue during Pregnancy?

The risk of passing the disease on to your baby is thought to be low. It may be more likely for your baby to get dengue if you get it at the end of your pregnancy. The management and treatment of dengue during pregnancy is very much similar to that in non pregnant cases. You will be advised a blood test to test whether you are positive for dengue, and determining the level of infection.

  • Drink plenty of water, juices, coconut water to prevent dehydration due to vomiting. Being hydrated is essential for maintaining embryonic fluid level.
  • Selective Pain killers are given to control fever and joint or muscle ache
  • Do not take any medicine, such as aspirin and related drugs, as they may not be safe during pregnancy.
  • Your blood pressure and platelet count will be monitored.
  • Infusion of platelets might be required in extreme cases.
  • If there is excess bleeding, blood transfusion might be needed
  • Administering oxygen and intravenous fluid in severe cases.
  • Blood monitoring to check for level of platelets.

Prevention from Dengue:

There are few things that you can take care of to avoid the chances of Dengue like maintaining the hygienic conditions, avoiding the chances of stagnant water, use of bed nets, wear full sleeved cloths, use of mosquito repellents or fly catchers etc.

As dengue in pregnant women is of same severity as of non-pregnant cases therefore you need not panic. Just be under doctor’s surveillance and take preventive measure.

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