How fever in early pregnancy can cause birth defects

How fever in early pregnancy can cause birth defects

(CNN) Running a high fever during early pregnancy is known to be dangerous. A first-trimester fever can increase a baby's risk of developing a congenital heart defect and certain facial deformities, such as cleft lip or cleft palate. But is it the fever or the underlying infection that causes the defect? "We need to increase public awareness regarding fevers and birth defects. Women are often hesitant to take medication during pregnancy," said Dr. Eric Benner, senior author of the study, and a neonatologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at Duke University. "Doctors should counsel women about the risk of fever...

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