Dengue in pregnancy

pregnancy and baby care

Any mild fever or any other health problem during the pregnancy phase is considered to be very fatal to both the baby and the mother. So when people hear of dengue or typhoid fevers during pregnancy, they panic a lot and think this will definitely hurt the unborn baby growing inside the mother’s womb. But if you take proper care of yourself and advise from doctors, you and your baby will be safe though you get any type of disease like dengue, typhoid, or malria. I also faced so many issues during my second pregnancy like I had ow lying placenta, got dengue, had viral fevers, got flu, had low blood count, and more weight gain. I thank God for letting me out of all these troubles and keeping me and my safe and healthy throughout my pregnancy and at the time of delivery.

 

In this article, I will tell you about my experience of getting dengue fever during pregnancy and how my treatment was done.  First of all, let’s get deep into the knowledge of what is actually this dengue?

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What is a Dengue Fever?

It is just like any other mosquito-born illness like Zika, malaria, typhoid, and chikungunya. These mosquitoes look very small but they can be life-threatening if they bite while carrying these viruses. Monsoon means meany diseases mainly in a country like India. During rainy seasons, insects, birds animals, and mosquito find a place to hide from rain. Ad as there is standing waters all around, water born and mosquitoes born diseases spread very fast. People with low immunity like pregnant women, elderly people, and kids contract these diseases very easily.
Dengue is just like any other fever with many other flu-like symptoms that you get when an infected mosquito bites you. It can last from 3 to 7 days depending on the severity of the disease. The mosquito that carries this virus is very different than other mosquitoes. Their legs are long and they have a white shade on them. They usually bite you in the morning and in the afternoon hours but not at night. A person infected with this disease cannot pass on the infection to others by touch, breath, or flu. It can only pass through blood. If the mosquito that had already bitten a person with dengue fever, bites another person, then only you will get dengue.
In the olden days, people used to die because of this disease. But today, due to an increase in knowledge, technology, scientific methods, medicines, and tests, the death rate due to dengue has become very very low. Only people who cannot get proper treatment or ignore it can have higher chances of death since its symptoms are very severe and dangerous.
A pregnant mother can easily pass on the disease to the unborn baby or the fetus through blood as the baby uses the mother’s blood to develop in her womb. This can lead to premature birth, low birth weight, and sometimes even death of the fetus, if not treated properly on time. Proper care must be taken for all pregnant women infected with this disease. You will be admitted to the hospital as soon as possible and they won’t let you go until you recover fully and your unborn baby is safe inside.

Symptoms of Dengue:-

  • Severe Headache.
  • Fever up to 102 degrees Celcius or more.
  • Chills during fever. Chills mean shaking or vibration of the body due to cold.
  • Sudden or full sweating after the temperature comes down.
  • Red rashes on the body parts if the disease becomes severe.
  • Severe Itching on hands and legs after fever.
  • Severe eye pain or itchy eyes.
  • Dizziness.
  • Low appetite.
  • Vomiting.
  • Drop in platelets count.
  • Muscle and joint pains.
Mild symptoms of dengue fever clear up within 5 to 7 days of proper treatment. Severe cases can last more and cause a sudden drop in blood pressure, internal bleeding, shock, severe stomach pain, continuous vomiting, restlessness, blood in urine, vomit or stools, blood from nose and gums, and even death if not figured out early or didn’t get proper treatment.

My personal Experience:-

It was in the month of October, the year 2022. This is my favorite month as I was born in this month. Around this time, I was just 6 and a half months pregnant. My pregnancy symptoms like nausea, headaches, leg cramps, etc reduced a lot. I was having a happy routine with my family. My 3-year-old son was going to nursery and I was busy with my work and household chores. It was rainy season at that time in Hyderabad and we all know how mosquitos enjoy their life at this moment by entering everyone’s home and playing with food, water, and people around. My house was a bit small and had no proper ventilation, so there were more mosquitos in the daytime. At night we used a mosquito net and a mosquito bat while sleeping so we didn’t have any problem. My mom was also with me at that time as she came to help me with my household chores as I had low-lying placenta complication in my pregnancy.
Every morning when I sit on a chair in the hall, I felt mosquitos biting my legs and toes. I dint bother as I thought dengue is something that we don’t get easily. No one in my family ever got dengue fever. So this was totally out of my mind and I ignored it. One fine afternoon after having my lunch, I started feeling sick. I had a headache and full weakness. I thought these were pregnancy symptoms and was still doing my work. As time passed, my body temperature slightly increased by 99 to 100 degrees Celcius. My son was in school at that time and I was waiting for him for lunch. When he came home, he was crying and getting irritated. His body temperature was a little warm, so I checked his temperature and to my surprise, he also got a fever of around 99 degrees Celsius. I thought we might have gotten a viral fever as these were common during the rainy season. I gave him paracetamol and lunch.
I also called my gynecologist and told her that I have a fever. She told me to take Calpol and see if the fever reduces. If it becomes higher she told me to come to the hospital. I dint feel any difference after taking Calpol. The fever kept on increasing and at night it reached 100 degrees Celsius. I again took another tablet before sleeping but the fever was not under control. I got chills and I was shivering at midnight. My temperature was 103 degrees Celcius. I slept like that only. Again after 6 hours, I took Calpol. This time I had a light fever but I started to feel dizzy and had a vomiting sensation. It was actually my mistake. I should have gone to the hospital at night for a checkup because the fever during pregnancy is not at all good for the baby. I thought it will reduce on its own but it didn’t. So finally I went to the hospital early in the morning after breakfast.
After seeing my symptoms, my doctor suggested a blood test and told me that I have symptoms of dengue fever. My son also was having fever slightly. We were giving him paracetamol every 6 hours. The reports of my blood test will come at night. Until then, my doctor advised me to get admitted as I felt very weak and still had a fever. I was very tense about my son as he was not well too. Though my mom was there to take care of him, I just wanted to go home and take care of him myself. Because no one can care like a mother. But I had no strength and no choice. I was crying thinking all about this. My blood reports came out to be dengue positive and my platelets count started decreasing. I was put on glucose and antibiotics. My doctor told me I had to stay in the hospital for 5 days. For the first 2 days, I had a high fever along with severe headache and body pains. After 2 days, my fever completely reduced but I still had a severe headache, eye pain, itching on my legs and hands, full sweating, and muscle pain. I was going through so much and on the other hand, I was very much worried about my son as his fever didn’t decrease after 3 days. His pediatrician gave antibiotics too. But nothing was working for him. He had a cold and cough too.
Every day I had to give a blood test to check if my platelet count had increased or not after recovery. Thatswhy I had to stay there for 5 days. I started feeling normal on the 5th day and my platelet count also started increasing slowly. I just wanted to go home as soon as possible to see my son. But my doctor didn’t allow me as I was pregnant and full recovery from dengue is very necessary for the unborn baby. If dengue gets worse, it can pass on to the child and can also cause the death of the unborn baby. So I had to sacrifice my time for my baby.
Since I was not there, my son didn’t get proper treatment at home and he fell very sick. When I came home after 5 days, I was shocked to see him. He had a full cold and a light cough. His eyes were swollen and red, but still, he was smiling and playing around when I saw him. My son is always the same. Though he had so much pain inside, he doesn’t easily express it outside. He always wants to smile and make others happy. That is why everyone loves him so much.

But as time passed by his fever increased again and symptoms became worse. He started vomiting and his temperature was not coming down though we gave him paracetamol and antibiotics continuously. So I decided to admit him in hospital as there was no other way he could recover at home. That night at 10 pm we went to the hospital and admitted him for 2 days. After admission he started feeling good and healthy. But still he got the fever again after 5 days of recovery To know more about what was the progress of my son, please visit this page “Dengue in kids” as I have explained everything in detail in it.

Treatment for pregnant mothers after discharge from the hospital:-

  • Tablet Monocef  200mg twice daily after food for 2 days.
  • Tablet Pan 40mg twice daily before food for 2 days.
  • Tablet Limcee twice daily after food for one month.
  • Tablet Folic acid once daily after food for one month.
  • Tablet Calcimax once daily after food for one month.
  • Injection Dexa 6mg in IV 2 doses.
  • A normal diet including non-veg with plenty of fluids.
  • Take plenty of rest.
  • Eat all the healthy foods as much as you can to restore the lost vitamins and nutrients from your body during fever.

How to prevent mosquito bites:-

  • Try to stay in a mosquito-free area. This means the area around your house should be clean.
  • Closed houses or tiny houses without any ventilation have more chances of mosquitos coming inside. Always try to stay in a spacious house that has trees and proper ventilation around.
  • If you are living in a mosquito-prone area then please make sure that all your windows and doors have a mosquito net.
  • There are many mosquito nets available now in the market to sleep at night.
  • You can also use mosquito repellent creams like odomas if you are going to a mosquito-prone area or while sleeping at night.
  • Many people also use mosquito rackets, and coils to keep mosquitos away from their homes.
  • Always keep your home neat and clean. Don’t allow any standing water in your home or near your home.
  • Wear full clothes at night and in the morning if there are many mosquitoes.
  • Use air conditioning or full-power fans to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Avoid keeping a bunch of clothes on sofas, beds, chairs, or in any other room. Always keep them in closed cupboards after folding and ironing.

Useful home remedies to recover from dengue quickly:-

  1. Drink plenty of water or any other fluids. This is very necessary to recover fast from dengue. Liquids include fruit juices, buttermilk, soups, warm water, and soft mashed food.
  2. Another best and secrete food to increase platelet count recommended by doctors is coconut water and kiwi fruit.
  3. You can start having non-veg after fully recovering from dengue fever. You can have eggs if you don’t have a fever. But kids can have non-veg after one week of fully recovering from dengue.
  4. After recovery from severe fever you are going to feel very weak and tired. You want to eat something very healthy and also tasty to cheer up. So you can have any food of your choice from outside too, just to make yourself happy. Because being happy helps in fast recovery of our health and our soul.

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