Pfeiffer's glandular fever during pregnancy - it's that dangerous!


Pfeiffer's glandular fever is popularly known under the name "kissing disease". In medical terminology, one speaks of the in this context infectious mononucleosis. Pfeiffer's glandular fever is very common and can easily be transmitted from person to person. The triggering virus, EBV or Ebbstein-Barr virus, is considered to be highly contagious.

The infection rates are sometimes given very differently, but it can be assumed that over 80% of those over 30 years of age have been infected with EBV. The virus belongs to the family of herpes viruses and remains in the body after an infection.

Pfeiffer's glandular fever can also be diagnosed during pregnancy. There is no vaccine that can prevent infection. Ultimately, infection cannot always be prevented despite precautionary measures.

Infectious diseases in particular, like certain medications, drugs, alcohol or nicotine, can damage the unborn child and mother. Therefore, expectant mothers are of great concern if they develop an infectious disease during pregnancy. The following article takes a closer look at the effects of glandular fever on pregnancy.

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How dangerous is that

Perhaps the most common concern of pregnant women is the integrity of the unborn child. Infectious diseases can sometimes have serious consequences for the child, such as malformations and organ damage, but they can also endanger the mother's health.

In view of this, the concern of most mothers is understandable. In the case of Pfeiffer's glandular fever, however, the all-clear can be given. This infectious disease is not associated with malformations or organ damage in the child, nor with miscarriages or serious consequences for the mother.

In principle, therefore, an acute danger to pregnancy cannot be assumed at first. However, it is very important that the mother takes care of herself and has a medical examination. In particular, physical rest is very important, otherwise complications such as an inflammation of the heart muscle or a pronounced enlargement of the spleen (Splenomegaly) threaten a rupture of the spleen.

Such complications, while rare, can endanger pregnancy if they occur. In general, Pfeiffer's glandular fever is not a cause for concern, as pregnancy is not at risk if there are no rare complications of the disease.

Read more on the topic: Infections in pregnancy

How high is the risk of infection?

The virus that causes glandular fever is known as highly contagious classified. This means that if you come into contact with the virus, infection is very likely - it is easily transmitted from person to person.

The transmission takes place by means of droplet infection. The saliva of a sick person in particular is highly infectious, so that the disease is easily transmitted when kissing. That is why it owes its name to "kissing disease".

There is no increased risk of infection for pregnant women compared to the rest of the population.To protect yourself, it is advisable to avoid contact with sick people during pregnancy. If family members or friends are known to have glandular fever, you should avoid it for your own protection during pregnancy and, above all, avoid mouth-to-mouth contact with potentially sick people.

Even weeks after the onset of symptoms, the sick person's saliva is infectious.

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What are the consequences of glandular fever during pregnancy?

Unlike other infectious diseases such as rubella or toxoplasmosis, Pfeiffer's glandular fever does not have a negative effect on the development of the child or the integrity of the pregnancy. The unborn child is not at risk of organ damage or malformations. Pfeiffer's glandular fever does not increase the risk of miscarriage either.

The disease usually heals without any consequences, especially in pregnant women with an intact immune system. In very rare cases, however, complications related to the disease can occur. These include a ruptured spleen, which is associated with life-threatening internal bleeding, kidney failure and inflammation of the heart muscle.

Therefore, physical rest during the entire duration of the illness is absolutely necessary, especially during pregnancy. Other serious complications are damage to the central nervous system and the blood-forming system. As mentioned, these complications are very rare, but if they occur they can threaten the pregnancy and the unborn child. It must be emphasized, however, that as a rule such consequences are not to be expected.

The EBV virus has also been linked to the occurrence of some cancers. These can occur years and decades after being infected with the virus and therefore do not occur immediately during pregnancy. However, the probability of these consequences can also be classified as rather low.

In general, Pfeiffer's glandular fever does not have any specific consequences for pregnancy. It naturally represents an increased burden for the mother, since the disease is associated with a reduced general well-being as well as a pronounced feeling of illness and fatigue. In some cases, an inpatient stay in the clinic may also be necessary to ensure the safety of the mother and child. Above all, intravenous administration of fluids as well as control of the fever with antipyretic medication and physical rest during the inpatient stay are primary therapeutic measures.

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Employment ban with glandular fever during pregnancy

Every resident doctor can issue an individual employment ban if he finds that the pregnant woman cannot pursue her work due to pregnancy-related complaints. This can be, for example, the risk of premature birth or a weak cervix.

Pfeiffer's glandular fever is initially an independent disease and could therefore only be covered by a sick leave. It does not necessarily represent a reason for an individual prohibition of employment. In individual cases, however, an individual prohibition of employment may also be discussed if, for example, there is an imminent danger to the child or mother at work or the illness brings complications.

The resident doctor must formulate his reasons in a generally understandable and comprehensible manner, so that an employment ban is recognized. In principle, it is possible to be banned from employment even if you have glandular fever

Incubation period in Pfeiffer's glandular fever

The incubation period, i.e. the time between infection with the EBV virus and the appearance of the first symptoms, can be between one and seven weeks. This is no different in pregnancy either.

This basically means that it can take up to two months for the first symptoms to appear. The infection cannot be suspected during the incubation period either.