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October 2nd, 2009
Preventing Swine Flu deaths for Pregnant Women

The H1N1 Swine flu has claimed the lives of 28 pregnant women in the United States creating worry from obstetricians and CDC investigators. The 28 victims of severe H1N1 swine flu were among 100 pregnant women throughout the country requiring hospitalization.

In the past, the flu has only drawn mild concern for pregnant women and to her fetus. It is not known whether H1N1 Swine flu is any worse.

However, that is what doctors are starting to believe. “Doctors around the country have never seen this kind of thing before,” says CDC respiratory disease Chief Anne Schuchat, MD, at a news conference. “What we are seeing is quite striking.”

Don’t lock yourself into quarantine just yet, there is actually quite a lot pregnant women can do to prevent H1N1 Swine flu. Although pregnant women are warned to avoid many Canadian prescription drugs, the flu medication Tamiflu is considered safe. At the first sign of any flu symptom, pregnant women should be given Tamiflu. Schuchat adds that “antiviral medicine can be a very important treatment for pregnant women who have respiratory symptoms or influenza-like illness.”

Aside from common drugs, as more H1N1 swine flu vaccinations are becoming available, pregnant women are highly recommended to receive the inoculation. The vaccine for the H1N1 swine flu and the seasonal flu vaccine are safe during pregnancy. Nasal spray treatments, however, are not.

“As the vaccine becomes available in appropriate formulations, we hope pregnant women and their caregivers will be taking advantage of it,” Schuchat concludes. “We encourage caregivers to either vaccinate pregnant women or refer them to a place they can be vaccinated.”

To learn more about the Vaccine, visit:
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/public/vaccination_qa_pub.htm
To learn more about the H1N1 swine flu and helpful drugs, visit:
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm

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