Varicella-Zoster Virus Infections During Pregnancy: Epidemiology, Clinical Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prevention and Therapy
Varicella belongs to serious infections during pregnancy. After introduction of prevention by vaccination in several countries, there is a particular interest to learn more about the consequences of maternal varicella for the infant. Pregnant women who contract varicella are at risk of severe pneumonia and death. At any stage during pregnancy, chickenpox may cause intrauterine infection by placental transmission of the virus. The consequences for the infant depend on the time of maternal disease. During the first two trimesters, maternal varicella may cause the congenital varicella syndrome which has been reported in about 2%. Maternal infection near term is associated with a substantial risk of neonatal varicella. Serious disseminated infections with visceral involvement may occur in the infant. Aside from epidemiology and clinical consequences, the present paper reviews the current possibilities of diagnosis, prevention and therapy of varicella-zoster virus infections during pregnancy.
Keywords: congenital varicella syndrome, neonatal varicella, varicella pneumonia, pregnancy, varicella-zoster virus
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