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For women who have not previously had
fifth disease, contracting the illness during
pregnancy can increase the risk for certain complications. If a pregnant woman has been exposed to the illness, she should contact her doctor right
A very small number of pregnant women who get fifth disease will
In extremely rare cases, the infection can cause a condition called
fetal hydrops, in which the fetus develops
anemia and severe swelling throughout the body. The
mother and fetus should be closely watched with
fetal ultrasounds to detect this condition.
When fetal hydrops is detected, the fetus may be treated with blood
transfusions while in the uterus, although this is not usually needed. Some
babies born to mothers who were infected with fifth disease during pregnancy
may also be treated with blood transfusions.
Fetal parvovirus B19 infections do not cause birth defects.
May 29, 2012
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
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