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Chicken pox is not a very dangerous viral disease and it mostly occurs in children. The virus typically attacks people who have low immunity. It is accused due to the Varicella virus. Chicken pox can affect pregnant women, and at this time it poses a high risk to the mother and the unborn child. Also, if the time of viral infection is close to the delivery date, then greater the risks.
Pregnant women who have already been infected with the chicken pox virus before have antibodies against it, and these get passed on to the fetus through the placenta. However, the prevalence of chicken pox in pregnant women is very rare and the rate of incidence is very low.
Women who get chicken pox in the first trimester or closer towards the delivery have a higher risk of getting varicella pneumonia. It is a life threatening condition and infects the lungs with the chicken pox virus. It can also cause birth defects in the unborn child through a condition called congenital varicella syndrome. Some of the abnormalities may include lower birth weight, mental retardation and smaller limbs.
If a woman develops chicken pox just before or after delivery, the child has a high risk of developing it too. It may become fatal for the new born child as it is too severe for a just born. However, women, who do get chicken pox in their pregnancy, are treated so that the infant is safe and also no further harm is caused to the mother or the child.
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