Are you pregnant and losing sleep worrying about the endless infections that threaten the well-being of your baby? Have you heard about the fifth disease? Fifth disease is one illness that strikes when the immunity is low during pregnancy.
Do you want to know more about this disease? The article will enlighten you about the causes, effects and prevention of the fifth disease. So, go right ahead and read on!
What Is The Fifth Disease?
Fifth disease is a mild illness that commonly affects children who are of school-going age or younger. Medical research identified it as the fifth childhood rash disease, hence the name.
Slapped cheek disease is a common name for this disease because red rashes (commonly on the cheek) characterize it. Contrary to the popular belief, adults too, may suffer from the illness.
What Causes Fifth Disease?
The Parvovirus B19 spreads the fifth disease. During this illness, the body stops producing new red blood cells. A temporary halt in the production of cells does not usually pose any major health risks. But if an individual is suffering from chronic anemia or is immunodeficient, contracting this infection may spell danger.
How Does Fifth Disease Affect My Baby?
Parvovirus B19 usually spreads when an individual comes in contact with an infected individual’s saliva or nasal secretions. It can happen while sharing utensils, food and intimacy with the infected person. The disease can also spread if the patient coughs or sneezes in front of you.
The virus can also transmit through blood, so if you contract the disease during your pregnancy, it may pass the placental barrier and adversely affect your baby. In most cases, this doesn’t cause any major health scare. However, in extreme cases it may lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.
Symptoms Of Fifth Disease While Pregnant:
The symptoms of the illness vary from person to person. In fact, a patient may not display any symptoms at all. However, here is a list of classic symptoms of the fifth disease.
Low-grade fever Muscle ache Headache Fatigue Weakness Sore throat Runny nose Red rash on the face Itchy rashes on the torso Joint pain.
How to Manage Fifth Disease And Pregnancy?
A simple blood test can help detect the presence of Parvovirus B19 in your body. Here are the common methods doctors use to treat the illness during pregnancy:
If you’re suffering from the disease during your pregnancy, the doctor may suggest that you undergo a series of ultrasounds to check for any excess fluid in your baby’s tissue. The ultrasound may also help the doctor rule out any other complications in the fetal growth due to the viral infection. He may also ask you to undergo the Doppler sonography to monitor your baby’s blood flow. It will help him lookout for fetal anemia. He may also need to monitor your pregnancy and check your baby’s status after every few weeks. If your baby shows signs of fetal anemia, the doctor may recommend a fetal transfusion (in case of severe anemia).
[ Read: Viral Infections During Pregnancy ]
Ways To Prevent Exposure To Fifth Disease During Pregnancy:
Unlike other contagious diseases, it is hard to avoid exposure to the Parvovirus B19 as a patient may not display any symptom at all. However, you could reduce the risk of the disease during your pregnancy by:
Avoiding contact with individuals who exhibit symptoms of the infection Avoiding sharing food and utensils with patients. Washing your hands before consuming food and maintaining proper personal hygiene.
[ Read: Personal Hygiene During Pregnancy ]
Always remember a balanced diet and personal hygiene can help you prevent infections. Pregnancy is a time when you need to go the extra mile to safeguard your health and the baby’s development.
We hope this article will help you keep the threat of fifth disease at bay and enjoy a safe pregnancy. Let us know if you found this article informative! We look forward to your valuable feedback!
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