Red measles exposure during pregnancy

I am 14 weeks pregnant and there is a measles epidemic. I haven't had measles myself and am concerned about the implications should I get measles while pregnant. Can you give me any idea of the risks?

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

Most adults are immune to red measles but unvaccinated women may develop pneumonia (about 3 percent of the time) which is harmful to the mother and the baby. The virus does not appear to cause fetal defects as does the German measles virus but there is an increased frequency of miscarriage and low birth weight infants if the mother gets the disease.

Closer to term, the baby would be at greater risk if he or she were born and then caught the disease.

Vaccination for this virus should not be done in pregnancy but all other women who are not immune and have been exposed should be given immune serum globulin, 5 ml within 3 days of exposure.

The March of Dimes or your infection control officer at your state health department would be good resources for you.

I can understand your concern and wish you the best.

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