Pregnant women infected with the new H1N1Swine Flu have a much higher risk of severe illness and death, U.S. government researchers said on Wednesday, confirming a trend that has worried global health experts.
While pregnant woman have always had a higher risk of severe disease from influenza in general, the new H1N1 virus is taking an exceptionally heavy toll, the researchers said , Reuters reports.
Meanwhile, t he study looked at the impact of H1N1 flu on pregnant women from mid-April, when the new virus was first discovered, to June 16. Of 45 U.S. deaths from the H1N1 flu, six were in pregnant women, which represented 13% of deaths at the time. CDC said of the 34 cases of pandemic H1N1 in pregnant women were reported to the agency from April 15 to May 18, 11 women, or 32% were admitted to the hospital.
The CDC has said more than one million Americans have likely been sickened by the H1N1 flu and more than 300 people have died as of July 24 , Wall Street Journal reports.
“If a pregnant woman feels like she may have influenza, she needs to call her health-care provider right away,” Denise Jamieson, lead author of the study, said in the statement. “Clinicians who treat pregnant women should have a system in place for triaging pregnant women with influenza-like symptoms and they should not delay in initiating appropriate antiviral therapy.” , Bloomberg reports.