HomeAnswersObstetrics and Gynecologyviral infectionDo viral infections during my early pregnancy cause autism?

Is it true that viral infections during early pregnancy causes autism?

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Is it true that viral infections during early pregnancy causes autism?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

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iCliniq medical review team

Published At September 12, 2023
Reviewed AtSeptember 12, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

My wife is seven weeks pregnant (about three weeks from fertilization, we think, because she has long cycles) and came down with shingles almost 2 weeks ago (and a cold about a week ago). She has been taking Acyclovir and the pain has reduced but is still present. We are worried about the effect on the baby, particularly because we have read viral infections in early pregnancy can lead to Autism. Do you have any advice about how serious the risks are?

Answered by Dr. Eeshani Dutta

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Shingles is herpes zoster, which is the reactivation of the chicken-pox virus in the body due to an immunocompromised status like pregnancy. But thankfully, the effects are not disastrous for the unborn baby as your wife already has antibodies against the virus in her body to combat transmission. If she had disseminated widespread shingles, there could be theoretical chances of viremia and fetus being affected. She is already taking Acyclovir, so viremia is not possible anymore. Do not worry, be happy.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Eeshani Dutta
Dr. Eeshani Dutta

Obstetrics and Gynecology

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