TORCH infections are a range of infectious disorders that might occur during pregnancy, delivery, or after birth. TORCH infections significantly cause neonatal mortality and later childhood morbidity and account for approximately 2% to 3% of all congenital disorders. TORCH infection is an acronym that stands for Toxoplasmosis, Other infections like HIV, syphilis, parvovirus B19 (fifth disease), varicella (chickenpox) and (Zika), Rubella, Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Herpes simplex virus (HSV).
In a baby, TORCH infection can be gotten through the placenta, during delivery, breastfeeding or other means after birth. A pregnant woman can get it from eating undercooked meats or from being exposed to cat faeces, through sexual contact or direct contact with HIV-infected blood, from direct contact with an infected sore, through an infected person’s saliva, mucus and other bodily fluids or an infected mosquito.
The symptoms of TORCH infections are fever, sluggishness trouble feeding, jaundice, low birth weight, hearing impairment, patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), small red or brown spots (purpura), bluish or purplish spots called “blueberry rash., hepatosplenomegaly (enlarged liver), cataracts, microcephaly (a small head).
After age 2, complications of TORCH infection may include loss of vision, loss of hearing, congenital diseases, lung problems, developmental delays, seizures and learning disabilities.
The laboratory diagnosis is mainly by TORCH Panel Test. Others are PCR tests and Viral cultures.
To reduce the chances of TORCH infections, avoid contact with sick people, wash your hands regularly, eat fully cooked meat and eggs, practice safe sex stay away from cat litter and faeces, take all necessary vaccines and avoid travelling to endemic areas.
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