Varicella is an infectious disease caused by a virus of the herpes family. It is transmitted through saliva droplets and unhealed skin lesions of a person with the disease. If a pregnant woman has the disease, she can infect the fetus as it is transmitted through the placenta. That is why this disea
Varicella is an infectious disease caused by a virus of the herpes family. It is transmitted through saliva droplets and unhealed skin lesions of a person with the disease.
If a pregnant woman has the disease, she can infect the fetus as it is transmitted through the placenta. That is why this disease, which we usually associate with childhood, is so important during pregnancy.
How chickenpox manifests itself in the pregnant woman
The manifestation is the same for a pregnant person and one that is not pregnant: a tubular rash in the form of macules and papules that later turn into predominant vesicles on the face, trunk arms and legs , and in the end these become crust (here the person no longer infects the disease). It also affects mucous membranes such as the mouth or vagina. Around 10% of cases are complicated by a 'varicella' pneumonia.
The confirmation that it is chickenpox will be given by serological blood tests (IgM + and IgG +).
How to prevent chickenpox during pregnancy
We currently have the vaccine, which is contraindicated during pregnancy, that is why we recommend any woman who is planning to get pregnant, confirm by an analytical that is immunized from chickenpox (and other infections) like rubella). If you are not immunized, you can be vaccinated and wait one to three months until you can get pregnant.
What happens if a pregnant woman has been in contact with someone infected? The first thing will be to go to the doctor, to rule out whether he is immune or not. If the disease has already passed, then it must be quiet. If you have not passed it, you can then be given prophylactic polyvalent gamma globulin 20 ml intramuscularly to prevent infection. Sometimes, even after the administration of this injection, small varicella lesions may appear on the skin but with a milder course of infection.In the case of contagion of a pregnant woman, pharmacological treatment will be done with Aciclovir 500mg / 8 hours for 5 to 10 days. If a picture of varicellose pneumonia appears or the lesions on the skin are very extensive, the pregnant woman should be admitted and given acyclovir intravenously.
Consequences of chickenpox in pregnancy
If a pregnant woman contracted chickenpox during the first trimester of pregnancy or early in the second trimester, there is a small possibility (0.4 - 2.0%) of the baby being born with a birth defect known as congenital varicella syndrome. This means that the baby will have atrophy of the extremities and scars on the skin. Sometimes, problems of the central nervous system and abnormalities of the eyes occur.
To see the effect of varicella on the fetus, amniocentesis is usually done. It seeks the presence of the virus in the amniotic fluid. If there is not, parents can stay calm; although they must know that they will undergo a more exhaustive ultrasound control, to rule out possible malformations typical of the infection.