Pediatric Congenital Infections
A congenital infection happens when a virus is passed to a baby during pregnancy or delivery.
A congenital (present at birth) infection is caused by a virus. The infection is passed to the baby through the placenta during pregnancy, or may be in the birth canal during delivery.
When an unborn fetus or infant (birth to 1 year*) catches the virus, the effects of the virus are much more severe. These children may suffer from cognitive disorders, hearing loss, autism spectrum disorder or other complications. In extreme cases, a congenital infection may be life-threatening.
The types of viruses that may cause congenital infections include:
- Chlamydia trachomatis
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
- Group B streptococcus
- Hepatitis B
- Herpes simplex
- Human immune deficiency virus (HIV)
- Rubella (German measles)
- Varicella zoster (chicken pox)
Symptoms of congenital infections may be seen during or after pregnancy.
Symptoms during pregnancy
- Blood test for both mother and baby show signs of virus
- Symptoms of the virus found in the pregnant mother
- Ultrasound test shows signs of abnormal physical condition of fetus
Symptoms after pregnancy
- Abnormal appearance
- Enlarged abdominal organs
- Eye conditions
- Heart murmur
- Large head
- Skin rashes
- Small head
*Age of infants as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).