Wednesday, March 22, 2006

German Measles in pregnancy

German Measles in Pregnancy
For Brindha, this was her first pregnancy. She was bundled up in pain. She was undergoing a process of termination for her miscarriage. Her eyes that were filled with joy when she was pronounced pregnant were filled with tears. Her agony both physically and mentally was evident from the way she was looking at the roof. She suffered from rubella when she was just 10 weeks pregnant.
German measles or rubella is a mild disease when compared with measles. Many children get it and don’t even know. The diseases are similar as both cause rashes and fever. Measles is a dangerous disease compared to german measles except when it affects the pregnant patients. The earlier she gets the rubella, the greater the danger to her child.
If rubella affects the child, the infant may suffer from severe birth defects. Deafness, heart disease, brain damage, eye defects and brain damages are the most common problems. Only one fifth of the children live and their lifespan are very short. Rubella is a viral disease, and is not easily detected because of most of the viral disease have the same symptoms. Laboratory tests are done to identify the disease. If we suspect rubella in a person, best is to isolate them.
Nowadays we have vaccination for rubella. Rubella doesn’t strike a person twice. A woman who plans to become pregnant, it is better to take the vaccination atleast six months if she had not contacted the disease. The rubella vaccine should not be given to pregnant women or to a woman who may become pregnant within 1 month of receiving the vaccine. If you are thinking about becoming pregnant, make sure that you are immune to rubella through a blood test or proof of immunization. If not, you should receive the vaccine at least 1 month before you become pregnant.
PreventionRubella can be prevented by a rubella vaccine. Widespread immunization against rubella is critical to controlling the spread of the disease, thereby preventing birth defects caused by congenital rubella syndrome. The vaccine is usually given to children at 12 to 15 months of age as part of the scheduled measles mumps -rubella (MMR) immunization. A second dose of MMR is generally given at 4 to 6 years of age, but should be given no later than 11 to 12 years of age. As is the case with all immunization schedules, there are important exceptions and special circumstances.
ContagiousnessThe rubella virus passes from person to person through tiny drops of fluid from the nose and throat. People who have rubella are most contagious from 1 week before to 1 week after the rash appears. Someone who is infected but has no symptoms can still spread the virus. Infants who have congenital rubella syndrome can shed the virus in urine and fluid from the nose and throat for a year or more and may pass the virus to people who have not been immunized.

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