Rubella is a disease caused by a virus (Rubivirus), which is easily caught by the airways through coughing, sneezing and nasal discharge. It is also quite common for the infected mother to pass the virus to the fetus, which can cause serious damage to the baby.
Manifestation of Symptoms
Symptoms may take a while to appear, but the virus can spread 7 days before the patient notices a reaction. There are still cases of people who are infected with rubella, but do not manifest any type of symptom , it ends up going unnoticed.
Even for these people who do not show symptoms, it is possible to detect the disease through blood tests, by the presence of immunoglobulins (IgM or IgG). Examinations requested by the obstetrician during prenatal care .
Consequences of Rubella in Pregnancy.
Since the pregnant woman is infected with the rubella virus, there are still no methods, at least for the time being, that fully protect the baby, preventing its contamination . The recommendation is to see the doctor immediately so that he can, through examinations, identify whether the baby has been affected by the virus. And of course, the most effective way is prevention!
Rubella when it reaches adults is not considered a serious disease. As for pregnant women, it is very aggressive, mainly due to the consequences that the fetus may suffer. The risks of spontaneous abortion increase considerably in cases of contamination, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy, in addition the most serious consequence is a series of damages caused to the development of the fetus , the congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), causing complications.
It usually causes some type of fetal malformation such as: deafness (which is usually only diagnosed when the baby is born and is the most common), changes in the eyes (blindness, cataracts, glaucoma, microphthalmia and retinopathy), heart failure, microcephaly and liver problems like fibrosis.
When to Get the Rubella Vaccine
These fetal malformations can occur in cases where the mother has been infected by the virus or even if she has had the rubella vaccine already pregnant, without even knowing it. For these reasons, the vaccine is recommended as soon as the woman plans to become pregnant, at least one month before the start of pregnancy .
If this is your case, try not to worry too much. Despite the possibility of the disease manifesting itself even with the vaccine, there are no concrete reports of cases of fetuses that have been contaminated in this way.
Rubella can cause more serious consequences to the baby, if the mother is contaminated during pregnancy, especially during the first 3 months , when the fetus is more likely to contract the disease. Soon after this period, the risk is lower and after the 4th month of pregnancy more serious complications are practically ruled out.
Rubella Examination – Igg and Igm
In the first tests carried out in the pre-natal , the doctor usually asks for a blood test for rubella serology. This is a test done to detect if you have antibodies to this virus in your blood and therefore take the necessary precautions when diagnosing.
The exam identifies whether there are igg or igm antibodies, which indicate the presence of the virus. If the presence of igg antibodies is confirmed it means that you have immunity to the virus , but it was an older contamination, whereas the presence of Igm means that you contracted the disease recently.
The virus, when it arrives in our organism, first produces the IgM antibodies, because of that when it is detected in the examination, the diagnosis suggests a recent infection.
If igg antibodies are found, it indicates that you have contracted the disease in the past and the immune system has already fought the virus . It “produces” memory antibodies that are called igg. These antibodies remain in the body for life and even if the person is in contact with the virus, the system will already be “armed” to fight it.
How the rubella test is done
The exam is done by collecting blood through a vein like normal exams and the preparation is usually only eight hours of fasting. Rubella serology is used to diagnose whether the person has already had contact with this virus or has already taken the vaccine.
It is a very effective exam at the time of diagnosis and is requested during prenatal care or at medical appointments for women who are preparing to become pregnant. The result comes out quickly and in a very clear and objective way.
Igm and igg non-reactive : it means that there was never any contact with the virus and that there was also no vaccination or even if it occurred, it was not effective. So you need to be very careful not to be contaminated during pregnancy.
Non-reactive Igm and Igg reagent : it means that you are immune to rubella, because memory antibodies are present in the blood, that is, that you have already had contact or been effectively vaccinated. So there is a low risk of contamination.
Reagent Igm and Igg Non-Reagent : means that you have recently been infected with the virus (between 2 or 6 weeks). Attention , this is the scenario that requires greater alertness for pregnant women and special care for the baby.
Rubella symptoms can last for an average of up to five days. The most common are:
- Cold symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough);
- Fever (moderate);
- Eye irritation or even conjunctivitis;
- Lingua in the neck region;
- Joint pain.
A common feature of rubella are the reddish spots on the face , which can spread to other parts of the body and in most cases they tend to itch a lot.
If you get rubella during pregnancy there is not much that can be done to protect the baby. But be sure to see the doctor to find out what tests to perform to monitor the development of the little one and make sure that everything is going well.
There is no effective treatment against rubella, only recommendations especially when the patient is pregnant, such as rest and drinking plenty of fluids . Some fever medications and pain relievers are generally prescribed.
The best form of prevention is to get the vaccine and try to stay away from people who have rubella. The vaccine is applied in the triple-viral that also prevents against measles and mumps and in the viral tetra, which also protects against mumps, measles and chicken pox.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.