Explainer: What are the dangers of German measles to pregnant women?

Explainer: What are the dangers of German measles to pregnant women?

- Pregnant women are prone to having measles or "tigdas"

- Once a pregnant woman has measles, the child might acquire "Congenital Rubella Syndrome"

- This syndrome may result in an eye, ear, and even heart problems to the infant

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Recently, the Department of Health has officially declared a measles outbreak in most parts of Luzon and other regions in Visayas. “Rubella”, also known as “German measles” or “tigdas”, can be dangerous to pregnant women and to the child they are carrying.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), rubella is an airborne virus that can be acquired through a sneeze or a cough. Once a pregnant woman gets infected, the virus will spread in the body and may last to five or seven days. The child she is carrying is likely to acquire “Congenital Rubella Syndrome”.

Explainer: What are the dangers of German measles to pregnant women?

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What is Congenital Rubella Syndrome?

KAMI learned that “Congenital Rubella Syndrome” is an illness that infants can get from their mother infected with the rubella virus. This syndrome can cause many dangers to the infant like blindness, deafness, and even heart damage or mental illness.

Pregnant women are prone to measles during the first five months of their pregnancy. If the mother has been infected by rubella within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, it is most likely that the child will be affected by the virus as reported by The Asianparent Philippines.

However, if the mother has acquired rubella between 12 to 20 weeks of pregnancy, there is a higher chance that the child will not be infected as well.

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What are the symptoms of Congenital Rubella Syndrome?

Aside from an eye, ear, and heart problems, a child with Congenital Rubella Syndrome may experience the following:

  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Growth retardation
  • Low birth weight
  • Development delays
  • Bleeding
  • Diabetes
  • Enlarged liver and spleen
  • Skin lesions

How to prevent Congenital Rubella Syndrome?

There is no specific cure yet for the Congenital Rubella Syndrome. However, it can be prevented by having a Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine. The MMR vaccine can be availed for free in different health centers around the Philippines.

However, pregnant women cannot be injected with this kind of vaccine due to the weaker version of the live virus it contains. Therefore, it is advised to be vaccinated one month before the planned pregnancy. It is also recommend that people around the pregnant woman should be vaccinated as well.

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Source: Kami.com.ph

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