Pregnant women are six times more prone to swine flu

Last Updated: Jul 09, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Delhi: The Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) has issued special precautions for pregnant women to protect them from swine flu and to counter its rising incidence. Dr. Sanjay Anant Gupte, President FOGSI issued these precautions on Friday. This comes in the wake of a remarkable rise in the number of swine flu cases reported in pregnant women recently.

Swine flu has caused quite a few scares in the recent past. A large number of people have fallen prey to it. Some of those more prone to its risk are pregnant women. A lot of researches have confirmed that pregnant women are more prone to serious illness as compared to other healthy people. There is a red alert for expectant mothers to protect themselves against a second wave of swine flu. A swine flu pregnancy can be life threatening for both the mother and the baby.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that 7-10% of all hospital admissions for swine flu are pregnant women in their second or third trimester of pregnancy. According to a study published in the journal Lancet, a new research shows pregnant women who get swine flu are more likely to develop severe complications that result in four times the normal flu hospitalization rate or even death.

In pregnancy immune system is naturally weakened and hence pregnant women are more likely to catch swine flu, and develop complications.

Because of an enlarged womb in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy there is little room for the expansion of the lungs. Sluggish functioning of lungs retards its natural ability to fight with airborne flu viruses. Most pregnant women experience breathing difficulties during pregnancy, but a swine flu pregnancy just makes it critically worse.

Special precautions

Wash hands, avoid unnecessary travel, and stay away from hospitals unless necessary.

Use of masks to those who are exhibiting symptoms or who are ill.

Maintain of a 3 to 6 foot perimeter around a coughing patient.

Maintain hygiene.

If you think that you may have swine flu, see your doctor for an assessment.

Do not miss the antenatal appointments that monitor the child`s development, even during a swine flu pregnancy.

Tamiflu is not normally recommended for use by pregnant women because the effects on the unborn child are unknown, according to experts.

When swine flu like symptoms appear in pregnant women, they can take any paracetamol based cold remedies like Crocin to reduce symptoms like fever, as paracetamol is completely safe for both, the mother and the baby.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are an absolute no during pregnancy, with or without the swine flu symptoms.