Dengue likely to affect health of pregnant women, might affect foetus growth: Experts

Medical experts on Friday said that dengue makes pregnant women more exposed to unfavourable pregnancy as compared to non-infected pregnant women. ANI spoke with several gynecologists who said that if a pregnant woman gets infected with dengue, there are possibilities that the foetus may suffer from growth restriction (IUGR) and may be underweight. 

Dengue virus (DENV) causes fever and severe hemorrhagic symptoms in humans. Dengue Virus Serotype-2 is more fatal. The vector-borne disease spreads through the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito and is dangerous as the infected mother may pass on the infection to the foetus. 

Dr Smita Vats, Gynecologist, Medharbour Clinic told ANI, “The foetus may suffer from growth restriction (IUGR) and may be under-weight. Besides, sometimes the delivery happens before time, and babies who are born preterm may have multiple complications of respiratory systems, neurological or digestive disturbances, and may fail to thrive. Occasionally there may be intrauterine foetal demise, in severe cases.” 

Dengue or any high-grade fever leads to a decrease in the amniotic fluid around the foetus and this may adversely affect the well-being of the foetus. 

Experts have also observed that occasionally, dengue may be associated with early miscarriages as the risk of prematurity and postpartum hemorrhage is also associated with high-grade fever and low platelet counts. Experts state that clinical pieces of evidence show dengue spikes preterm labour in some pregnant women. 

To highlight other crucial aspects, it has been stated that dengue may be associated with early miscarriages. This viral infection gets transmitted through female mosquitoes’ bites, mainly of the species Aedes aegypti and Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus virus that causes dengue called DENV. 

Dengue infections are caused by four closely related viruses named DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. These four viruses are called serotypes because each one has different interactions with the antibodies present in the human blood serum. Dengue is associated with falling platelet count which can cause hemorrhage and excessive bleeding. Often patients with very low platelet count may need to undergo platelet transfusion. If a pregnant woman gets dengue fever in her last trimester, they need to be extra cautious, the experts recommend.