Are you and your partner Planning for a pregnancy…
Check if you are protected from German measles ‘RUBELLA’ ?
Rubella, commonly referred to as GERMAN MEASLES is a viral infection. When it affects a person, it causes flu like symptoms which includes fever, sore throat, swelling of glands and rashes. But not all people infected with the virus go through the above symptoms. Some do not develop the symptoms but can still transmit the infection to others.
How does the transmission of virus occur?
Transmission of the viral infection is through airborne droplets. The rashes develop 2 weeks after acquiring the virus. The disease is infective from 1 week prior to appearance of rash and extends up to 4 days after appearance of rash which may be mild and pass unnoticed.
What damage does the rubella virus cause to the unborn baby?
Contracting the virus during the first 3-4 months of pregnancy (when the mother does not have immunity against the virus), can cause CONGENITAL RUBELLA SYNDROME in 9 out of 10 babies in this situation.
What is congenital rubella syndrome?
This is a group of serious conditions that can occur separately or together in the child where there can be damage to brain, eyes, ears or the heart.
How do you know whether you are protected?
If you have had Rubella vaccination or 2 MMR vaccinations 3 months apart then most likely you are protected. But nevertheless it is wise to check for rubella immunity status through blood Rubella IgG test prior to planning for pregnancy more so if you are not sure of your vaccination status.
If you are Rubella IgG is positive, it indicates that you have immunity against the virus and you can start planning for the pregnancy.
What if Rubella IgG is negative?
If it is negative then you have get vaccinated with Rubella vaccine and thereafter to plan for pregnancy after 3 months.
What happens if I conceive immediately after the vaccination?
To conceive at least a month after vaccination is preferable but there is no evidence that the vaccine causes congenital rubella syndrome to the unborn fetus.
If diagnosed as not being immune to Rubella during pregnancy…what precautions to take?
If you are not immune to Rubella and pregnant avoid contact with persons especially children with flu like symptoms and rashes.
You cannot take the vaccine during pregnancy. You can take the vaccine immediately after delivery before you leave the hospital.
Baby is not at risk while you take the vaccine during breastfeeding.
So unless you are confident about your rubella immunisation status it is advisable to check your immunity prior to planning for pregnancy.