She is just 7 months old and she lies in the hospital bed with her mother, unaware of her future. Her mother did not know about her baby’s condition prior to the babies regular check up, that her newly born child suffered from Congenital Rubella Syndrome.
Rubella falls in the TORCH group, T and O stand for Toxoplasma Gondii, R for Rubella, C for Cytomegalovirus and H for Hepatitis, Herpes, and HIV. This group of organisms can readily be transferred from the mother to the fetus at any time during pregnancy. Hence forth the baby is compromised in many ways. If the baby was born, there are more chances of congenital deformities.
In this case, the baby had cataract, she underwent a cataract surgery three days back and was at the hospital for recovery. If eyes were her only problem, she suffers from multiple VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect ) more commonly said multiple holes in the heart, which hampers her ability to grow as a baby, she fails to thrive as compared to other babies of the same age, she is susceptible to upper respiratory tract infection and she fails to respond to any noise, she shows signs of deafness as well.
Rubella is preventable, that was all in my mind. How did this happen, why did this baby deserve blindness and deafness? I asked the mother if she took her Rubella shot, she politely said that she did not even know about a shot like that ,as she hails from a remote part of Bangladesh.
There are many people like her who don’t realize Rubella symptoms when they were pregnant. It’s a disease that spreads through the air-borne route, its cause a slight low-grade fever (<101 degree Celsius), rash which spreads from the face and lymph node enlargement. They treat this as a minor cough and cold.
No matter how much I praise preventive medicine, it seems that patients like her will keep on coming and more babies will eventually lead a very short life span. It’s just one shot girls, if you are a women of the reproductive age group ranging from 20-30, do take a Rubella shot, it’s that simple!
Those cute little hands, responds to my finger, her reflexes are good. All that I could say to the mother was that “It’s in God’s Hands now”. Also, I requested her to take a Rubella shot before she decided to conceive again. They are waiting for her heart surgery, later this month in Delhi. I wished her good wishes and bid good-bye.