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Pregnancy and Before Links

Parent Drop-In Program

Prenatal Classes

Smoking Cessation Programs & Services in Lambton County

Pregnancy and Exposure to Communicable Diseases

This page was reviewed or revised on Thursday, October 29, 2009 1:47 PM

Name
How is it Spread
Risk to Baby?
How to Prevent/Treat?
AIDS
(Virus)

 

-sharing of contaminated needles
-unprotected sex
-transmitted through placenta, during delivery, through breast milk
-if fetus is infected early in pregnancy-small head, deformed face
-HIV+ Mom has 50% chance of infecting baby(1)
-avoid situations of risk
CHICKENPOX (varicella)
(Virus)
-infection early in pregnancy may be associated with congenital malformations, but risk for infection is low~ 2.2% -if in 1st trimester-can cause underdeveloped limbs, eye and brain damage and skin scarring; low birth weight; congenital neonatal Zoster
-if mom gets rash within 5 days before or 2 days after delivery-risk for baby is 20%(2)

 
-screen for immunity at 1st prenatal visit
-Varicella Zoster Immune Globulin (VZIG) can be given to prevent or reduce chickenpox(2). Vaccine is available and cannot be given during pregnancy. Women vaccincated against varicella should not try to conceive for at least one month after vaccination.
CHLAMYDIA
(same applies for gonorrhea)


 

(Bacteria)
-sexually transmitted-can be in vagina without any symptoms
-also from mother to baby during delivery
-during pregnancy, is associated with low birth weight and premature rupture of membranes
-newborns may develop eye infections, pneumonia, infections of genital and GI tract(3)
-once diagnosed, treat mother, baby and father with antibiotics and use condoms until rechecked by physician
CYTOMEGALO-VIRUS
(Virus)
-transmitted in semen, urine & blood, cervical secretions, breast milk -at birth® small for dates, prematurity, mental retardation , liver disorders(4)
-good handwashing after each contact with body secretions
-careful handling and disposal of urine-soaked diapers
FIFTH DISEASE
(Virus)
-person to person through contact with infected nose and throat secretions (coughing, sneezing), or sharing drinking glasses and utensils -if mom comes in contact in the 1st half of pregnancy, <10% chance of affecting red blood cell production ® severe anemia® miscarriage or death of fetus(5)
-most adults have probably been exposed previously
-avoid people with fevers; wash hands frequently; cover mouth when coughing or sneezing; avoid sharing eating utensils
GROUP B
STREPTOCOCCAL

(Bacteria)

-found in vagina and lower intestine of 15-30% of women -can enter amniotic cavity just before delivery, or through tears in amniotic sac; or by baby swallowing or inhaling it during delivery
-of the 50-75% of infected babies, 1-2% will develop severe disease, e.g. meningitis, sepsis or pneumonia (6)
-screening during pregnancy with treatment for the following criteria: premature labour (<37 wks); premature rupture of membranes (<37 wks); prolonged rupture of membranes (>18 hrs); fever during labour; multiple births; GBS bacteria in urine; heavy colonization of GBS; mother < 20 years old; history of GBS with previous births(6)
-IV antibiotics during labour

-vaccine being developed

HEPATITIS B
(Virus)

-contact with infected body fluids-blood, semen, vaginal fluids and possibly saliva; unprotected sexual intercourse; sharing needles, razors or toothbrushes
-from positive mom to child at or soon after birth, possibly through breast milk
-perinatal infection has high likelihood of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis or cancer(7) -mandatory testing of pregnant women.
If positive, within 12 hrs. of birth, infant should be given Hepatitis B Immune Globulin & 1st of 3 Hepatitis B vaccine shots, to be repeated at 3 & 6 months(7)

-father should also be tested & vaccinated if at risk
 

HERPES SIMPLEX
(Virus - HSV Type 1 or 2)
-sexually transmitted by skin-to-skin contact with active herpes lesion &/or touching lesions and spreading it to other areas of body -genital infection is associated with spontaneous abortion before 20 wks; possibly prematurity
-infection through placenta is uncommon

-infant may have liver problems, seizures, long term neurological problems, meningitis(8)

-no intercourse when active lesions present
-possible Caesarean section if lesions active during labour

-anti-viral therapy

RUBELLA
(German Measles)

(Virus)
 

-through placenta -if in 1st trimester, can cause miscarriage, organ malformation; deafness, cataracts, microcephaly, mental retardation, heart defects, liver problems(9) -immunization of potential pregnant women.

- vaccine available should be given at least 1 month prior to trying to conceive.

TOXOPLOSMOSIS
(Parasite - toxoplasma gondii)
-feces of infected cat (in litter box)
-undercooked or raw meat

-not washing knives after preparation of raw meat; berries, vegetables/fruit from contaminated soil

-gardening

-sand boxes that cats can get into

-to fetus through placenta

-if in 1st trimester-miscarriage, brain damage, seizures, severely impaired vision, hydrocephaly, and other problems
-if later in pregnancy® miscarriage, stillbirth, cirrhosis, encephalitis, vision problems (chorioretinitis), mental retardation, neurological problems up to 15-20 years later(10)
-wash hands after handling raw meats and vegies & before each meal or handling food
-use separate surfaces and utensils for preparing raw and cooked foods (e.g.barbecuing)

-cook meat thoroughly (not in microwave)

-avoid delicatessen & smoked meats while pregnant

-cook vegetables from potentially contaminated soil, but if raw, wash carefully

-treat all cats as potentially contagious-handle cat litter with gloves; flush feces down the toilet; disinfect litter tray daily by scalding or throw out; don’t pet cats

-don’t garden where wandering cats have access

-cover sand boxes

-keep flies & cockroaches away from food(11)

 

(1) Reid, D. "Perinatal AIDS", Perinatal Outreach Program Newsletter, Vol. 5, No. 1, March 1987. Community Health Services. "Fact Sheet: Chickenpox and Pregnancy", March 1997.
Gregson, D. "Chlamydia Trachomatis Infections During Pregnancy and in Neonates", Perinatal Outreach Program Newsletter, Vol. 12, No. 4, November 1994.
Benenson, A. (ed). Control of Communicable Diseases Manual. 16th edition. American Public Health Association, 1995, p. 125-127.
Community Health Services, "Fact Sheet: What is Fifth Disease?", May 1996.
Platt, M. & G. Gilson. "Group B Streptococcal Disease in the Perinatal Period", American Family Physician, Vol. 49, No. 2, Feb. 1, 1994, p. 434-442.
Schutze, G. & S. Landers. "Management of Infants Born to Women with Sexually Transmitted Diseases", American Family Physician, Vol. 50, No. 7, Nov. 15, 1994, p. 1479-1486.
Mackenzie, H. "Perinatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infections", Perinatal Outreach Program Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 3, October 1992.
Benenson, p. 405-409.
Benenson, p. 468-471.
Ausman, L. "Toxoplasmosis and Pregnancy", The Canadian Nurse, April 1993, p. 31-32