Malaria and pregnancy: what are the risks? - The360 Lifestyle

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  • Sunday, December 1, 2019

    Malaria and pregnancy: what are the risks?

    Malaria and pregnancy: what are the risks?

    In areas infected with malaria (or malaria), pregnant women are particularly at risk. How to prepare well for your departure? Which preventive medicines can I use? Which mosquito repellents are recommended? 


    Although pregnant women may be infected with all Plasmodium parasite species that cause malaria in humans, they appear to have increased susceptibility to two species: P. falciparum (mostly present in Africa, America and Asia forestry), with a risk of severe malaria, and P. vivax (in Asia, America, East Africa). Female Anopheles mosquitoes, vectors of malaria, have been shown to prefer stinging pregnant women.

    This preference is not inconsequential, as explained by Professor Camus who publishes recommendations to travelers in terms of prevention against malaria for the Pasteur Institute of Lille. "Maternal malaria with P. falciparum, and more rarely with P. vivax, may be responsible for low birth weight in the newborn. The infection can also lead to miscarriage, or lead to premature labor. The doctor points out that women bitten during their pregnancy may have the first symptoms of malaria infection up to three months after their return from tropical country, compared to eight to twenty days for children and adults, including non-infected women. speakers.

    What chemoprophylaxis of malaria in pregnant women?

    Like the rest of the population, the pregnant or lactating woman must respect certain practical recommendations for the prevention of malaria. However, taking a drug as a preventive measure must be done with caution.

    The antimalarial drug atovaquone / proguanil (generic Malarone) is often preferred because it can be used both during pregnancy and breastfeeding if the breastfeeding child weighs at least 5kg.

    Which repellent to choose?

    The so-called "mechanical" prevention measures are the same as for the rest of the population: wear long, loose clothing, start air conditioning at night, sleep under an impregnated mosquito net, eliminate residual water bodies.

    Only the use of skin repellents is at risk, which is why health authorities publish the list of products that can be applied to the skin of a pregnant or breastfeeding woman. On this list (from the "Health recommendations for travelers 2019", page 49), it should be remembered that only DEET concentrated to 10 or 50% maximum, IR3535 concentrated to 20% maximum and KBR3023 concentrated to 20% maximum can be used in pregnant women.

    For these products, three daily applications are sufficient and recommended.

    Remember that pregnant women can travel quite well in the tropics, but this period of life must be doubly vigilant and require a lot of attention.

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