Fifth disease is a contagious infection caused by the human parvovirus B19 which spreads through coughing, sneezing, or bodily fluids. Studies reveal that approximately 1 out of 400 expecting mothers in the United States are infected with Fifth disease each year. Below are the steps for treating and preventing Fifth Disease while pregnant.
The Signs and symptoms of Fifth disease during pregnancy includes:
Typically the red rash symptoms are seen in children, while the other symptoms are most commonly found in adults. The symptoms of Fifth disease are consistent in all adults regardless of the pregnancy status.
A blood test will need to be administered for those who are suspected to be infected but do not develop any rash on the body. The primary source of concern is in the case of unborn child when fifth disease is affected during the pregnancy period. The health care provider may suggest for additional ultrasounds for 8 to 12 weeks in order to watch for any possible pregnancy complications. If the ultrasound reveals any sorts of illness for the baby, health care professional may recommend for amniocentesis or cordocentesis to confirm the infection and its severity.
Even though it is rare, Fifth disease can cause complications during pregnancy. One such complication of Fifth disease that may affect the unborn child is anemia which is characterized as a lack of healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body and are important for the development of the baby. If the baby has severe anemia, there is a risk of developing Hydrops, a buildup of fluid in your baby’s body. This may lead to congestive heart failure and possibly death. If the baby has Hydrops during the third trimester, it is necessary to get induced to give birth early.
Usually Fifth disease is mild and will resolve in its own way without any treatment in healthy children and adults. Babies are regularly monitored for signs of the infection and possible anemia. In rare cases, when the condition worsens, healthcare provider may treat the baby with blood transfusion while in utero.
Prevention is the best action against Fifth Disease as there are currently no vaccine available for it.
Some ways to keep you from being infected include:
The steps one take to avoid Fifth Disease will also protect against other bacteria, viruses and infections. Therefore once protected against Fifth disease, you are least susceptible towards other infections.