We have added information on the Road Safety Blog about the need to be alert to threats posed by H1N1 Swine Flu to pregnancy.
But why are they more at risk? A visitor to the Arrive Alive website sent an email with a link which might help to provide some clarity. This appeared in a story titled “2 Mom die of Swine Flu”.
The reasons identified in this article are:
• Although pregnant women have many of the same initial virus symptoms as other people, they face greater odds of complications
• During pregnancy, the immune system has different components.
• A pregnant woman’s immune system shifts away from the ability to fight off viruses and shifts more toward fighting bacteria
• This puts them at higher risk of viral influenza.
• The growth of the baby compresses a woman’s lungs, so her breathing capacity is reduced.
• With less lung capacity, you’re more likely to get sick – And if you get an infection, it’s harder to clear.
• Flu seems to also increase the risk of delivery complications, such as spontaneous abortion and preterm birth, especially among women with pneumonia.
• The baby also faces additional problems – Studies show that maternal fever during the first trimester doubles the risk of neural tube defects and other birth defects.
• Maternal fever during labor is a risk factor for seizures, encephalopathy, cerebral palsy and infant death. Doctors recommend treatment with acetaminophen to reduce a pregnant woman’s fever.
Pregnant women have been advised to avoid people who are coughing or actively ill.
The H1N1 /Swine Flu hotline is 0861 DOH CDC, or 0861-364-232