Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Link between Swine Flu and Stillbirths

BBC news has just published an article regarding a new study showing that babies born to mothers who have contracted the flu virus faced a greater risk of being stillborn or premature.
In mothers who were infected with the 2009 (H1N1) strain of the flu virus, baby deaths were almost 5 times as normal between September 2009 and January 2010: In these 256 women, seven of the babies were stillborn, and three died shortly after birth - this is equivalent to approximately 39 babies dying out of 1000 before and after birth, which is a drastic difference compared to 7 deaths in 1000 in uninfected mothers.
This article primarily aims to send an important message to pregnant women biased against getting the flu shot during pregnancy and encourages them to get vaccinated in order to avoid the harmful effects on the virus on their unborn babies. Since pregnant women are likely to develop more complications if they get the flu virus, getting vaccinated should definitely be on their "to-do" list, especially at this time of the year. Contrarily to what most people believe, the vaccine can be given very safely at any stage of pregnancy, and studies have even shown that some of this protection from the vaccine can actually be passed on to their baby and last for the first few months of their lives.

Pregnant or non-pregnant, get your flu vaccine!

- Julie Saffarian

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