Hand Foot And Mouth Diseases During Pregnancy
What is Coxsackie virus?
It is a virus that belongs to enterovirus family. It is an RNA virus which means it has only one strand for its genetic material. It spreads via fecal-oral route so it can easily spread from person to person and it is a virus that very commonly infects children under 5 years of age, though adults can also be affected by this virus. There are different types of Coxsackie viruses, and the most common are Coxsackie virus type A and type B.
Coxsackie virus type A is known to cause hand, foot and mouth diseases such as rashes or blisters and lesions that are painful on touch.
While Coxsackie virus type B is more ominous and can cause spasm of the muscles in abdomen and chest. They can also cause meningitis, which is an infection of the layers enveloping the brain and the spinal cord. Though the symptoms are usually mild flu-like in the start, they might get complicated in some cases.
What if I get a Coxsackie virus during pregnancy?
Adults commonly do get affected by this virus, and it is also not uncommon for women to get infected by this virus during pregnancy in any trimester. If you get this virus in the first trimester, though it is rare, yet there is a chance that your pregnancy can result in a miscarriage. Or if you get infected by this virus in the last 3 months then there is again a high chance for you to pass it down to your baby. But most of the times the symptoms might get resolved on their own and you may just had flu-like symptoms,
But the severe symptoms of Coxsackie virus must be pointed out here:
Painful mouth blisters
Skin rash on genitals, hands or feet
Abdominal pain or spasms
Can my baby get Coxsackie virus?
If a pregnant woman acquired this infection in the last trimester of her pregnancy then the virus would also pass down to her baby though in a milder form in most cases, but it can also cause stillbirth in a few cases if the severity of the infection is severe in the mother.
There are other ways of your baby getting infected:
If somebody with this infection coughs or sneezes near your baby or touches the things of your baby with his contaminated hands.
If somebody changes a diaper if an infected baby and then touches your baby with unwashed hands.
In the seasons of summer and autumn, this infection is readily present in the air and can infect a child.
If your child goes to a school where other children are infected.
Your child can acquire and show symptoms of this infection in severe cases, such as:
Rashes or blisters that are painful and are present on his lips, oral cavity, hands, feet and genitals.
Soar throat and fever.
Watery, itchy and red eye.
Drowsiness or unconsciousness due to brain damage as a result of brain infection and brain swelling.
Infection of the heart muscles that can cause heart failure.
What are complications of Coxsackie infection?
Though rare, this infection might enter into its severe state and cause complications that are of serious concerns.
How can this infection be treated?
Treatment of Coxsackie infection mainly depends on how severe the symptoms are. As mentioned previously, if the infection is in mild state, your child might just run a fever that too subsides on its own in the next 24 hrs.
On the other hand, if your child is suffering from mouth blisters or ulcers then this might take another 2 to 3 days to go away. And if your child has an infection in the brain, subsequently,it will take almost a week or so for this viral infection to resolve. But if your child is suffering during this condition, it is best to see a doctor about this.
Your doctor would do a thorough examination on you or your child, he may check the inside of the mouth, your palms, soles, genital area for signs of rashes or blisters.
Your child may require a CT brain to check for edema.
An ECG/EKG might be done to check the functioning of your child’s heart.
A spinal tap to look for any infection in the brain.
Most of the treatment of this infection is symptomatic, which means, your child will be given treatment for all the complains that he has at that moment.
You will be asked to take extra care of the child and let him rest as much as possible.
Your child may be administered with pain killers such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen to reduce the pain from the blisters and ulcers on his skin.
The doctor would also give medicines to your child to lower the fever if your child is running a high fever.
Child will be given plenty of fluids to treat his dehydration.
How to prevent the spread of Coxsackie virus?
Coxsackie viruses are highly contagious. They spread from person to person via droplets or feces when somebody does not wash their hands after coughing into it or after using the toilet or when treating another infected baby.
Hence the measures to stop the spread of this infection is to take good care of your baby and the people in the environment.
Firstly, it is crucial to thoroughly wash the hands of your baby. The most common route of acquiring an infection is through unwashed hands. And not should your child do this, but you and everyone else around you should regularly wash their hands.
Keep yourself and your child away from people who are infected. Even if you do not know what disease another person may carry, always keep your child and yourself away from a person who is sick.
Keep your things away from other children or people who are infected. Touching the surface of things becomes a common route of spreading this infection. Or, clean your child’s things after they have been touched by another person.
People with HFMD can be infectious during the hatching time frame (around three to six days) before side effects create and may stay infectious for a considerable length of time or weeks after the manifestations and signs decrease. Indeed, even individuals with mellow or no manifestations and signs during contamination can be infectious.