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Infections that may be dangerous to the fetus

Some infections can cause fetal damage while others may be harmless to the fetus. Read below to find out what you should know about these.

Raskaana oleva nainen.


The Listeria monocytogenes bacterium lives in the soil and in the digestive tracts of animals. It is part of the normal digestive tract flora of some humans as well.


Ticks spread both borreliosis and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE).

Infectious childhood diseases

Chicken pox and erythema infectiosum or ‘fifth disease’ are diseases that may cause significant harm to the fetus if contracted by a pregnant woman.

Cytomegalovirus infection (CMV)

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) belongs to the family of herpes viruses. It is transmitted through bodily fluids (saliva, blood). The incubation period for a first-time infection, or primary infection, is several weeks, generally 6 to 8 weeks. The most dangerous case for the fetus is if the mother has a primary infection.


Toxoplasma gondi is a parasite whose principal hosts are felines. Toxoplasma reproduces in the digestive tract of felines and spreads to the environment via their feces.


Shingles is a local infection but may cause a chicken pox infection in a person who has never had chicken pox if there is direct contact with the shingles blisters.

Zika virus and malaria

When you are planning a pregnancy, you need to consider any travel plans you may have with additional care. If you had planned to travel to an area of high risk (e.g. for infectious diseases such as Zika virus or malaria), you should not go.