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Rubella in pregnant women carries a serious risk of birth defects in a child. This is because the rubella virus can easily enter a child's body via the transplacental route. Rubella in pregnancy is especially dangerous in the first trimester of pregnancy. What birth defects can rubella cause in a baby in a pregnant woman?

Rubella in pregnant womencan lead to a series of birth defects in the baby, which doctors refer to ascongenital rubella syndrome( Gregg).Rubella in pregnancyis especially dangerous in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Rubella in pregnant women: primary rubella disease

Rubella is primarily a threat to pregnant women who have not had rubella before or have not been vaccinated against rubella. in the first trimester of pregnancy, the risk of serious fetal defects is highest in the first trimester of pregnancy: around 90 percent with rubella infection by 11 weeks of gestation, 33 percent with rubella infection at 11-12 weeks of gestation, 11 percent in 13-14 weeks After that, it rises again to 24 percent at 15-16 weeks gestation. In the following weeks of pregnancy, the future mother's rubella disease does not significantly increase the occurrence of defects in the fetus, even despite the presence of infection. The risk of hearing disorders is the longest.

Rubella in pregnant women: secondary rubella disease

The risk of recurrence applies to 5 percent of those who have had the disease naturally and up to 50 percent of those who are vaccinated, depending on the time since vaccination. Importantly, in this case the risk of developing fetal defects is 5-8 percent in the first trimester, then it becomes minimal.

Rubella in pregnant women: what birth defects can a baby suffer from?

In children with Congenital Rubella Syndrome (Gregg's syndrome) the most common:

  • defects of the heart and large vessels (48 percent of sick children) - patent ductus arteriosus, atrial and interventricular septum defects and pulmonary artery stenosis
  • eye defects (71 percent of sick children) - cataracts, glaucoma, inflammation of the retina and choroid (the so-called s alt and pepper retinopathy), eyelids, strabismus
  • hearing impairment (67 percent of sick children) or deafness (the above three types of defects together constitute the so-called Gregg's rubella triad)
  • neurological disorders: chronic meningitis, microcephaly, cerebral vasculitis, increased risk of schizophrenia and autism
  • genital defects,
  • bone pathologies (leading to e.g. limb deformation or damage to deciduous teeth),
  • skin rash,
  • liver disease,
  • lung diseases,
  • kidney problems.

Rubella virus also increases the risk of early miscarriage or stillbirth. Premature death affects up to 35 percent of patients with Congenital Rubella Syndrome.

Later on, the risk of developing insulin-dependent diabetes (20 percent of patients), thyroid disorders (5 percent of patients), glaucoma and other eye problems resulting from the previously described defects increases. Rare but very dangerous are neurological complications in the form of progressive rubella panencephalitis (PRP).

Rubella in pregnant women: how not to get sick?

  • Childhood rubella immunizes against the virus. If you are not sure if you have been ill and are planning to get pregnant, do a blood test for antibodies (referral is free). Report to the doctor with the results, and he will decide whether to vaccinate. The vaccine (e.g. rudivax) is payable. You can buy it in a pharmacy with a prescription, it costs about PLN 40.
  • If you have not been ill and you have not vaccinated against rubella, and you are pregnant, contact only he althy people.
  • Before visiting friends who have children, don't be shy to ask if they are sick or have had rubella before.
  • If you are pregnant and have contact with a person infected with the virus, and you do not know if your body is immune to it - see a doctor as soon as possible. He will decide if you can still get an immune globulin injection. The time that has elapsed since contact with the sick person should be as short as possible.

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