Maternal varicella during pregnancy

Chicken pox (varicella infection) during pregnancy can cause multiple foetal anomalies and foetal wastage. It is a known teratogenic agent. The teratogenic effects are:

  • Cutaneous scars
  • Microcephaly
  • Atrophic limbs
  • Microphthalmia
  • Congenital cataract
  • Chorioretinitis
  • Low birth weight (LBW)
  • Cerebrocortical atrophy
  • Deafness

If infection in the mother develops within 5 days of delivery, there is risk of disseminated varicella infection in the infant. The infant should be given varicella immunoglobulin.

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