CAN German measles (Rubella) harm my baby during pregnancy?

German measles (alos known as Rubella) is rare in the UK nowadays, but if you develop the infection in pregnancy, there's a serious risk for your unborn baby.

It's most dangerous to your baby if you catch it during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. It can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or birth defects in unborn babies, such as hearing loss, brain damage, heart defects and cataracts.

This is called congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). If a pregnant woman does become infected with german measles during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, there is no treatment that is known to prevent CRS.

If you're pregnant and develop a rash, or come into contact with anyone who has a rash, contact your GP or midwife immediately.

You should avoid any antenatal or maternity setting until you has been assessed, to avoid contact with other pregnant women.

If you're thinking about having a baby, it's a good idea to check that you're fully protected against German measles. If you're not sure whether you've had two doses of the MMR vaccine, ask your midwife or GP to check your vaccination history.

If you're currently pregnant, and you're not sure whether you've had two doses of MMR, ask your midwife to check your records.

If you haven't had two doses of the MMR vaccine, or there's no record available, you should ask for the vaccine when you go for your six-week postnatal check-up after your baby is born.

IS dandruff contagious or harmful in any way?

Dandruff is a common skin condition that causes white or grey flakes of skin to appear on the scalp and in the hair.

The flakes are often noticeable if they fall from your scalp on to your shoulders. Your scalp may also feel dry and itchy.

Dandruff isn't contagious or harmful, but it can be unpleasant and difficult to get rid of. The main treatment for dandruff is anti-dandruff shampoo. There are a number of types available to buy from supermarkets or pharmacies.

Make sure you read the instructions that come with the shampoo before using it to check if it's

suitable for you and see how often it should be applied.

A pharmacist can offer advice if you need it. It's particularly important to use the shampoo according to the directions or advice you've been given to make sure it works.

Try these shampoos for a week or two. You might need to try more than one type to find one that works for you.

You may be able to use the shampoo less often once your symptoms improve, but your dandruff will probably come back if you stop using it completely.

You don't need to see your GP if you have dandruff, your pharmacist will be able to advise.

WHAT are Streptococcal Infections?

Streptococcal infections are any type of infection caused by a type of bacteria called streptococcal or ‘strep’ for short.

They can occur in a range of sites in the body.

Strep infections can vary in severity from mild throat infections to pneumonia, and most can be treated with antibiotics.

There are more than 20 different types of strep bacteria, which are split into two main groups:

Group A strep, which are often found on the surface of the skin and inside the throat, and are a common cause of infection in adults and children.

Group B strep, which usually live harmlessly inside the digestive system, and in women, in the vagina. Strep B tends only to affect newborn babies and usually cause more serious types of infection.