Tests before pregnancy:German MeaslesWhat is Rubella and how is screening performed?
Rubella, German measles, is caused by a virus that is passed from person-to-person. This occurs when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Any contact with the nasal or throat secretions of an infected person can spread the virus. Women who have either had a Rubella infection or have received the vaccination will have an antibody in their blood that will usually prevent them from getting the infection a second time. This antibody also protects the unborn baby against the virus; this protection is called immunity. Rubella infections during childhood usually cause mild symptoms. However, if a woman becomes infected with Rubella during the first three months of her pregnancy and does not have immunity to the virus, the baby is at risk of having serious birth defects or dying.
Any woman considering a first time pregnancy, or those who are pregnant for the first time, should be tested to see if they have an immunity to Rubella. A sample of blood is drawn and tested to see if a sufficient amount of antibody is in the blood to protect the mother and the baby. If a woman does not have enough antibodies and is not currently pregnant, she may be given a Rubella vaccination. She should then wait about 2 to 3 months before becoming pregnant. Any woman who is currently pregnant should not be given the Rubella vaccine. The Rubella vaccine is a weakened form of the live virus. If a pregnant woman does not have sufficient antibody to protect her and her baby, she will be advised by her doctor to avoid contact with anyone who has symptoms of rubella throughout the rest of her pregnancy. She should speak with her doctor about the best time to get vaccinated after her baby is born and follow through with getting a Rubella vaccination so that her next baby will be protected. Comments: Tests before pregnancy - German-Measles
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