The cases of dengue in pregnancy are on a rise due to the increasing incidence of dengue fever in adulthood.
The signs and symptoms of Dengue fever and DHF in pregnancy is similar to that in the non-pregnant patient. In pregnancy infections with dengue virus is not more severe as compared to non-pregnant patient as in the case, for instance, of malaria. Infection with dengue virus does not increase the risk of foetal malformation or deformity.
Dengue fever can affect the unborn baby. The risks in the unborn child include:
- low birth weight,
- preterm birth,
- abortion and
Treatment of dengue in pregnancy
Management of dengue in pregnancy is similar to dengue management in others. If you are expecting and diagnosed with dengue, your doctor will treat you based on your symptoms and severity of illness.
Treatment for mild form of dengue includes:
- Drink plenty of fluids like oral rehydration solution, fresh juice, soups, coconut water. This will help to prevent dehydration due to vomiting and high fever.
- Antipyretics (medication for fever): Acetaminophen helps to reduce pain and fever. Avoid aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen. These drugs increase the risk of bleeding complications.
- Tepid sponging to reduce fever.
Treatment for severe form of the disease includes:
- Admission to a hospital.
- Oxygen (if you are in shock or are very ill).
- Medications to lower fever and to decrease the pain.
- Blood pressure monitoring (if you have DSS and DHF ---as this increases your risk of developing very low blood pressure).
- Intravenous (IV) fluid and electrolyte replacement to manage fluid loss, prevent dehydration and maintain blood pressure.
- Blood transfusion to replace blood loss if required.
- Platelet transfusion if your platelet count decreases.
Preventive measures to prevent dengue infection
If you are pregnant avoid travelling to areas where dengue fever is prevalent as you are at significant risk of contracting the disease. If you have to travel take personal prophylactic measures to prevent mosquito bites and dengue infection.
Close the windows at dawn and dusk (active mosquito times) to prevent mosquitoes from entering your house or place of stay.
Prefer to stay in air-conditioned or well-screened places.
Wear protective clothing like long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
Apply 10 to 30 percent concentration of DEET insect repellent on your exposed skin. Don't apply DEET on the hands of your young child or on infants younger than 2 months.
Use mosquito repellent creams, liquids, coils, mats at your place of stay.
Use flying-insect spray to kill mosquitoes in dark, cool places like in closets, under beds, behind curtains, and in bathrooms.
Use bed nets, preferably treated with an insecticide to prevent mosquito bite.
Measures for mosquito control around your place of stay.
Remove the place where they live and breed (i.e. their habitat).—that is remove standing water from coolers, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, plant trays, or any other container and cover all stored water.
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