Pregnancy Increases Risk of Swine Flu

For further information, contact Melissa Maimann at Essential Birth Consulting. Link

Pregnant women are at greater risk for severe disease and complications from H1N1 pandemic flu than the general public ...

They should be treated promptly with antiviral drugs ...

The recommendation is based on an analysis of cases and deaths of pregnant women from the pandemic strain in the early weeks of the U.S. outbreak ...

"If a pregnant woman feels like she may have influenza, she needs to call her healthcare provider right away," ...

... six H1N1-related deaths in pregnant women had been reported to the CDC, all in women who had developed pneumonia and subsequent acute respiratory distress syndrome requiring mechanical ventilation.

That was 13% of the 45 deaths reported during that period ...

... All the women were treated with oseltamivir (Tamiflu) ...

The five patients with viable pregnancies had cesarean sections and none of the infants were born with flu. Four have been discharged home in good health, while the fifth -- born at 27 weeks gestation -- remains in the hospital and is doing well ...

"There are two broad goals in using a vaccine," ... "to protect people who are likely to get severely ill if they are infected, and to slow down transmission by vaccinating the people who are most likely to get infected and pass the virus on."

... "it is very wise to plan to use vaccines mainly to protect those most vulnerable."

But he cautioned that it will be vital to monitor vaccine safety, since pregnant women ... are also at higher risk for other adverse events.

... Pregnant women, the obese, and those with asthma and diabetes appear to be such groups[that would benefit from vaccination] ... "but we also need to think of first responders," including doctors, nurses, police, and fire personnel.

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448