February 3, 2010

Types of Congenital Infection of the Fetus

Posted in Category : Men's Health, Women's Health

Congenital infections are infections that are passed on from a mother to a child during the course of child birth. Note that many infections are passed on from an infected mother in this way and there are very few infections that actually occur when in the womb. This is because the growing fetus is separated from the mother in the uterus by an enclosed space called the amniotic sac. The baby has its own blood system and this comes into contact with the mother’s blood supply through the placenta, which is basically a protective barrier. What makes congenital infections especially frightening is the fact that most of these infections show no symptoms in the mother and can go unnoticed. However, these infections can be so severe for a new born, who has no immune system, that it can cause problems like rashes, retardation, blindness, and even autism. From this perspective, caesarian sections are usually the safer method of delivery of a child. HIV is one such congenital infection but it is extremely difficult to prevent a newborn getting this virus even if a c-section is performed.

Congenital Herpes infection Rubella

Congenital Infections that a mother needs to be screened for include herpes virus, cytomegalovirus and rubella, to name a few. These are viruses that a mother could have contracted at some point of time in her life but has overcome. Herpes and CMV viruses are extremely problematic because they affect a great percentage of the human race and they tend to remain dormant in the human body. Whenever they do reactivate, after the first infection, they tend to be asymptomatic infections that are dealt with by the immune system. Should a reactivation happen during the process of childbirth, which is extremely likely, the child will definitely be at risk of infection.

Most bacterially transmitted disease like Chlamydia and gonorrhea are resolved with antibiotic treatments. The objective is fundamentally to ensure that the vagina is sterile during the time of delivery. In cases of virally transmitted infections, there are no drugs that can resolve the infection. The only way to ensure that a congenital infection doesn’t render the newborn compromised is to do a c-section delivery. Drug administration on the newborn is also something that is carried out to ensure that the newborn does not suffer effects of a congenital infection. There are no home remedies that are useful or completely effective in preventing such infections.