Why are pregnant women more likely to die from dengue fever? – VnExpress

Compared with normal people, if a pregnant woman has dengue fever, both mother and fetus can be life-threatening because of difficulties in treatment.

According to BS.CKI Truong Trong Tuan, Emergency Department, Tam Anh General Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, the changing immune system makes pregnant women often have increased susceptibility to a number of pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, and viruses. bacteria and parasites. This is the reason why when having dengue fever, pregnant women are susceptible to infection, facing the risk of serious complications that are dangerous for both the mother and the fetus.

According to Dr. Tuan, compared to the average person, if a pregnant woman has dengue fever, both mother and fetus can be life-threatening because of difficulties in treatment.

Unpredictable complications of dengue fever

Dengue fever is dangerous for everyone, but for pregnant women, it is very important to prevent complications, because the mother can transmit the disease to the fetus. Dengue fever does not lead to birth defects or abnormalities in the fetus, but it can lead to stillbirth, premature birth or other health complications in the newborn. In addition, the virus can be passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy or birth, which may require a cesarean section.

The course of dengue fever in pregnant women is also unpredictable and rapidly worsens. Symptoms of dengue fever begin with signs of high fever continuously for 4-7 days, pregnant women will feel severe headache, muscle pain, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite. However, these are only mild dengue symptoms.

According to doctor Truong Trong Tuan, not every woman who has a fever is cured of dengue fever. The dangerous stage of the disease is usually on the 3rd-7th day of the disease, the pregnant woman may still have a fever or have reduced fever, which may be accompanied by abdominal pain, black stools, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, bleeding gums, etc. mucosal blood, … at this time, the pregnant woman’s body decreases platelets to the point of bleeding.

Pregnant women in the first months of pregnancy, if having dengue fever can increase the risk of miscarriage, affecting health. Photo: Freepik

The most severe symptom of dengue fever is shock. The pregnant woman’s body temperature drops below 35 degrees Celsius, the body bleeds profusely, and the blood pressure drops rapidly. Loss of blood too much, plasma increases rapidly, causing the lungs to overflow with fluid, the patient’s body falls into a coma due to cerebral edema, which is life-threatening.

If dengue becomes severe, it can be associated with excess plasma leakage, bleeding, or organ failure. Dengue fever in pregnant women can cause complications such as gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney failure, liver failure, blood clotting disorders…

Pregnant women in the first months of pregnancy, if dengue fever can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth. In the last months of pregnancy, dengue fever can cause fetal death, low birth weight or premature birth. If the baby is born prematurely, the baby is born with low birth weight or even dies if the mother is seriously ill. In particular, low platelets is life-threatening for both pregnant women and fetuses, which can lead to premature delivery, causing serious complications such as bleeding that is difficult to stop, placental abruption, preeclampsia… Newborns can also have platelet deficiency in the first few days, even weeks after birth if born to mothers with low platelets. “If infected with dengue virus during delivery, the risk of maternal hemorrhage is very high,” added Dr. Tuan.

Taking care of pregnant women with dengue fever

Pregnant women have low immunity, so they are more susceptible to infections and diseases. Therefore, during the peak period of dengue fever, pregnant women and relatives should avoid traveling to areas with high risk of infection.

If a pregnant woman has been in contact with a person with dengue fever and shows signs of illness, she should receive proper medical care. Especially women who are close to their due date or right after giving birth, as these are the most at-risk subjects, need to be closely monitored.

Pregnant women diagnosed with dengue fever need to be hydrated, reduce fever appropriately, rest and replenish, and be continuously and carefully monitored by doctors. Nutrition for pregnant women with dengue fever needs to increase fluid intake, along with essential salts that play an important role in the body. Pregnant women can drink coconut water, oresol, fruit juice, cooked food with clean drinking water, at least 3 liters per day. Nutrition also helps balance the amount of fluid in the embryo to care for the baby.

Dengue symptoms during pregnancy do not differ from those of the general population, but the severity of the condition can increase in pregnant women. Therefore, pregnant women need to be cared for and continuously monitored by medical staff. To be safe for both mother and fetus, antipyretic drugs need to be in the correct dosage as prescribed by the doctor.

Should you breastfeed when you have dengue fever?

Newborns whose mothers have been diagnosed with dengue before birth or at birth should be closely monitored to limit the risk of transmission. According to experts, the risk of transmitting dengue virus from mother to baby through breast milk is negligible, so if a mother is infected with dengue fever, she can still continue to breastfeed.

There is a lot of scientific evidence that breast milk, especially colostrum, has antibodies that help babies to be immune to infections. The World Health Organization (WHO) also believes that breast milk has many nutrients and antibodies that help protect babies, prevent dehydration, and maintain emotional well-being in children.

In some specific cases, such as a mother with severe dengue fever, the doctor may prescribe formula or formula milk for the infant.

Phuc Thinh


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