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Swine flu and pregnancy

Pregnant women at a greater risk

When it comes to the possible complications that can occur as a direct consequence of the flu (this refers to swine flu and seasonal flu as well) women who are pregnant are at a far greater terminal risk than other members of the population in general. Though such facts may have a macabre overtone, the greatest number of experts point out that the greatest number of pregnant women who get affected by H1N1 swine flu will not experience serious complications.

Though they are regarded as a critical group, when it comes to swine flu, neither experts nor doctors are able to give more sustenance to this claim by backing it up with some sturdy and concrete evidence. The prevailing opinion is that in the period when the fetus is still developing and growing, this pressurizes mother’s breathing and functioning of the lungs significantly, thus enhancing the risk rate with regards to the development of various secondary infections, such as pneumonia for example. According to the statistics, those unfortunate mothers who were not able to defeat the ill effects of swine flu lost their lives in the third trimester. In addition to the above stated explanation, there is yet another one. Namely, in those months when a woman bears a child, her immune system undergoes a number of changes and some of these changes have the potential to make a woman in question much more prone to developing infections, flu being one of them also.

Vaccination

As far as vaccination is concerned, pregnant women do belong to the “critical group” category, which is determined in accordance with the CDC guidelines. As a matter of fact, what the vaccine advisory committee has put forth is that all pregnant women, as well as those persons caring for and living together with infants, should be among the first to get inoculated against the swine flu.

In case a pregnant woman is befallen by swine flu, the first thing to be done is for her to start with the antiviral medication therapy the moment flu is either suspected or has already manifested through some symptoms. And this is something that is also on the list of CDC’s top recommendations. Such antiviral medicines as Relenza or Tamiflu are safe and can be freely taken during pregnancy. In addition, if a woman who is pregnant, up to two weeks after delivery, or has lost her child and has been in contact with a person infected by the flu, she should also be immediately put on the antiviral medicine therapy.   

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