Congenital Varicella Syndrome

The reason not too many people have heard of congenital varicella syndrome is because it is a rare disease. Pregnant women not only are at risk of complications when they are infected with chicken pox (varicella zoster virus), but their unborn child is also at risk.

The symptoms of this syndrome will affect babies at varying degrees depending on the week of pregnancy the mom is exposed to the virus.

Support from others, who have special need babies, will help parents adapt to the needs of a baby with congenital varicella syndrome.

Risk To Unborn Babies When A Pregnant Woman Gets Chicken Pox

Congenital Varicella Syndrome affects 0.4-2.0% fetuses when the mom is infected with the virus during the first and second trimester of her pregnancy according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

When the woman has a rash from chicken pox 2-5 days before delivery the infant may be born with a neonatal varicella rash from the virus. Treatment can reduce the risk of the infection becoming serious or developing into MRSA methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

4 Ways To Prevention

Women can prevent the risk or this syndrome in the following ways:

  1. Get chicken pox before becoming pregnant
  2. Receive immunization before becoming pregnant
  3. Avoid contact with anyone who has been recently vaccinated for chicken pox
  4. If infected immediately receive antiviral treatment

A strong immune system is one of the ways to increase the chances of having a healthy baby and prevent illness in a pregnant woman and the accompanying risks.

Congenital Varicella Syndrome Symptoms and Risks

When a pregnant woman who has not had chicken pox or been vaccinated before her pregnancy is exposed to the varicella zoster virus, it puts the woman and her baby at risk. When the exposure occurs before the 21st week of pregnancy there is a possibility that the baby will be born with congenital varicella syndrome. This is a rare occurrence because of these reasons:

Some of the symptoms of congenital varicella syndrome include the following:

Some babies are also born with abnormalities of the brain, nervous system, eyes, and experience developmental delays. The signs of this syndrome are permanent but as with any child that is born with special needs, their strengths can be worked with so they can reach their full potential. Parents of babies with this syndrome often benefit from support from other parents who have children that have been exposed to this virus before birth.

Support and Encouragement for Parents of Babies With Congenital Varicella Syndrome

There are local support groups that can be accessed through local health care professionals. Since it is a rare condition, a parent may need to search neighboring cities or online groups to find people who can provide the support they need to parent a baby with this syndrome. Here are some resources:

Any support group that helps parents of special needs babies can be helpful and useful when looking for support and encouragement.

Symptoms Of Chicken Pox

Learn about Symptoms Of Chicken Pox.