International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month
International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month, observed in February, provides information on simple steps one can take to protect a fetus or newborn from infections that cause serious health problems.
Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth. Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly and has been linked to other pregnancy problems and serious birth defects, including miscarriage, stillbirth, eye defects, hearing loss, and impaired growth.
About one in four women in the United States carries the bacteria that causes Group B Strep infection. Babies can get very sick and even die if their mothers pass Group B Strep bacteria to them during childbirth. If one is pregnant and tests positive for Group B Strep, doctors can give an antibiotic during labor that prevents the bacteria from spreading to the baby.
A pregnant woman infected with CMV can pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy. Most babies born with CMV infection will be fine and will not have symptoms or develop health problems. However, some babies will have permanent problems, such as hearing or vision loss or intellectual disabilities, at birth, or develop problems later on.
CMV is passed from infected people to others through body fluids. Infants and young children are more likely to shed CMV in their saliva and urine than older children and adults. For pregnant women, the two most common ways they are exposed to CMV is through contact with saliva and urine of children with CMV infection and sexual activity. Regular hand washing, particularly after changing diapers, is a commonly recommended step to decrease the spread of infections and may reduce exposures to CMV.
Listeriosis is a rare but serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with bacteria called Listeria. Listeriosis mostly affects pregnant women, newborns, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. Pregnant women are ten times more likely than other people to get listeriosis. About one in six cases of listeriosis are associated with pregnancy.
International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month Sponsor: Group B Strep International
To learn more, visit http://www.groupbstrepinternational.org