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Best practice for managing monkeypox in pregnancy published

Tuesday June 7th 2022

A new paper provides healthcare professionals with recommendations and advice on how best to manage pregnant patients with monkeypox, according to royal colleges.

Written by a collaboration of researchers in obstetric and paediatric medicine and published in *Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology*, it brings together all available evidence on monkeypox in pregnancy.

It covers diagnosis of monkeypox in pregnant women and babies, treatment and recommended options for delivery.

Although the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says the risk to the public remains low, it encourages people to be alert to any new rashes or lesions.

Dr Edward Morris, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “This paper written by leading medical experts synthesises available evidence on the monkeypox virus and makes recommendations on what needs to be done to ensure a pregnant woman and her baby are cared for if they have, or are suspected of having, the virus.

“The World Health Organization states there could be adverse consequences for pregnant women and babies if they become infected including congenital monkeypox, miscarriage or stillbirth, which is why we have provided clear guidance for healthcare professionals in this paper.

“We are aware infants and children are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill if they do catch monkeypox. Therefore, to minimise the risk of a baby contracting the virus, we recommend healthcare professionals discuss the benefits and risks of having a caesarean birth with a pregnant woman or person who has or is suspected of having the virus.”

In a statement, Dr Camilla Kingdon, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and Dr Helen Mactier, president of British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM) said:

“There is a shortage of information at present about the spread of monkeypox in the UK, and its impact on pregnant women and newborns. This paper is therefore an important source of information to aid clinicians at a time when the numbers of cases in the UK is rising.

“We would urge all paediatricians to familiarise themselves with its content as although the risks are low, there is important advice that can reduce the risk of neonatal infection.”

The RCOG, RCPCH and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is to produce a guidance resource for healthcare professionals soon.

E. Morris et al. Monkeypox and pregnancy: what do obstetricians need to know?. *Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology* 2 June 2022

[abstract]

Tags: Childbirth and Pregnancy | Flu & Viruses | UK News | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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