Pregnant women are more prone to be infected by flu than the rest of us, be it seasonal flu or swine flu. The effects of swine flu or any kind of flu on pregnant women can be fatal at times but experts say that they need not be paranoid if infected with the H1N1 swine flu virus. Most infected women can hope to recover without serious complications.
Experts are of the opinion that the reason for women being more prone to contracting swine flu in pregnancy is due to the increased pressure on women’s breathing. The functioning of the lung gets affected exposing the woman to diseases like pneumonia. This is especially evident by the fact that most swine flu deaths of women in pregnancy occur during the third trimester. Another observation of the experts is that the changes in a woman’s immune system make her more susceptible to a swine flu infection.
Impact of Swine Flu during Pregnancy on the Foetus
Women affected with swine flu show a tendency of premature delivery, abrupt abortion or stillbirth. The risks of neural tube defects are increased due to high fever. If a woman happens to be affected with a swine flu infection right before the day of delivery, she should be taken to a hospital which is equipped to deal with this situation. Close contact with the baby should be avoided until anti-viral medications have been administered for 48 hours. It is actually advisable that some other adult should take care of the infant for the 7 days after the onset of swine flu symptoms in the mother. There has not been any reported case of the infant contracting swine flu through breastfeeding.
The treatment for women with swine flu in pregnancy is the same as that of any other person. The usual anti-viral medications like Tamiflu or Relenza can be administered to an infected woman at any stage of pregnancy. Adverse effects of swine flu medication on the unborn, after being given to a pregnant woman have not been established yet.
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