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    Rubella IgG in Pregnancy

    Illnesses & Infections

    Rubella IgG in Pregnancy

    Updated on 12 May 2023

    Among the dozens of infections known to the world is the Rubella infection. Also known popularly as German measles, this is a contagious disease that is seen commonly among children between the ages of 5 to 9 years. This infection starts with symptoms such as small red bumps or rashes, swollen glands and mild fever which tend to go away after a few days. After the introduction of the Rubella vaccine in 1960, a decline was seen in the number of cases. However, it can still be found among children and adults in most countries.

    While the Rubella virus is not serious even among children, it results in the opposite when a woman is not Rubella IgG positive in pregnancy. An expecting mother coming in contact with anyone suffering from German measles may suffer from congenital rubella syndrome in the fetus. If this occurs, a baby can suffer from serious birth defects which include brain damage, heart issues and deafness among others.

    What are the Rubella Symptoms In Pregnancy?

    The symptoms of the Rubella virus are usually mild initially which makes it easy to be ignored. The symptoms start to develop within 2-3 weeks after exposure to the virus and can last for about a week. A woman who is detected with Rubella IgG more than 50 in pregnancy can suffer from some of these common symptoms:

    • Pink or red rash on the face

    • Rash slowly spreads on the body

    • Mild fever

    • Headache

    • Cough

    • Closed or runny nose

    • Swollen lymph nodes

    • Muscle pain

    • Red eyes

    There have been reports of rare cases as well wherein a woman with high rubella IgG in pregnancy has the following symptoms:

    • Ear infections

    • Stiff neck

    • Swelling in the brain

    • Prolonged headache

    How is Rubella IgG in Pregnancy Transmitted?

    The Rubella virus spreads when a pregnant woman is in contact with an infected person who sneezes or coughs and spreads the germs onto surfaces and air. Some people do not get the symptoms immediately, making them unaware of being infected and passing the virus around. Hence, it is always safe that people keep a safe distance when they are around pregnant women to avoid such transmissions. As for the expecting mother, it is wise to get a Rubella test in pregnancy immediately in case of any Rubella symptoms.

    You may also like: Infections During Pregnancy That Can Harm Your Baby

    What Does Rubella IgG Positive Means for Pregnant Women?

    If an expecting mother does a Rubella IgG test in pregnancy and tests negative, it can lead to serious complications for the unborn baby after birth. The virus passes to the baby from the mother in the womb and the risk is the highest during the initial 3 months. Babies infected with the Rubella virus can suffer from Congenital Rubella Syndrome or CRS, wherein they are born with serious birth defects such as:

    • Heart issues

    • Deafness

    • Hearing impairment

    In some serious cases, a child may end up losing his life after a few days of birth or the mother may suffer a miscarriage.

    Rubella Testing in Pregnancy

    A woman planning to get pregnant should first get a Rubella blood test before pregnancy. Once the result shows negative, she should immediately get herself vaccinated with the MMR vaccine if not taken before. After the vaccination, she should wait for at least one month to get pregnant. In case an expecting mother tests negative for the Rubella virus, she should not get the vaccination as it can cause other side effects.

    You may also like: The Complete Vaccination Schedule for Pregnant Women

    Rubella Treatment During Pregnancy

    While a non-pregnant woman can get herself treated without the use of any medicines if the condition is mild or by consuming pain relievers, a pregnant woman should immediately contact her doctor. A Rubella Immunoglobulin in pregnancy shot named hyperimmune globulin may be provided to her which acts as antibodies to fight the virus. Along with it, complete rest is highly recommended in order to protect the baby and the mother. The mother should have the following antibodies in her blood that help fight the virus:

    1. IgM

    This antibody is seen in the blood for around a week or so in adults and about a year in newborn children after getting the Rubella virus.

    2. IgG

    This antibody stays in the blood forever and can be found in case a person suffered from the virus or has been vaccinated and is immune to the virus.

    A Rubella IgG normal range is when the test result shows a 0.7 or lower number whereas a negative test will show a 1.0 or a higher number. These results remain the same for Rubella IgG for pregnancy and normal individual tests.

    Conclusion

    Hence, being Rubella IgG positive in pregnancy means that the woman is immune to the virus by either being vaccinated or having suffered from the virus earlier. It is important for women to take all precautions and vaccination for Rubella on time to avoid complications for themselves and the baby during pregnancy.

    References

    1. Rubella (German measles) in pregnancy. (2007). Paediatr Child Health.

    2. Armah NB, Sagoe KW, Nuamah M; et al. (2022). Rubella virus IgM and IgG antibodies with avidity in pregnant women and outcomes at a tertiary facility in Ghana. PLoS One.

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    Written by

    madhavigupta92

    madhavigupta92

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