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Swine flu putting pregnant women at risk

Posted in General Health 03 Jan, 2011

We all know the drill when seasonal flu comes around: wrap up warm, consume plenty of vitamin C and ask your doctor for the influenza vaccine to ward off infection. This year Swine Flu has reared its ugly head once more, this time posing a health risk for wider groups of people, as well as those most susceptible such as the young, the elderly, pregnant women and those with diabetes and asthma.

Pregnant women are more likely to catch flu because the immune system is naturally suppressed in pregnancy. This makes them prone to develop complications if infected with the virus, otherwise known as H1N1.

Swine flu symptoms are similar to those of regular influenza. Pregnant women may suffer from a fever or high temperature and experience the following health problems:

  • Unusual levels of fatigue
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath or cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Aching muscles
  • Diarrhoea or vomiting

Swine flu symptoms should be mild although it may take up to seven days before you fully recover from infection. However, there is evidence from previous pandemics that pregnant women are more likely to develop complications such as difficulty breathing and dehydration and pneumonia, which can lead to miscarriage. If you do experience symptoms you should take action straight away.

This year's seasonal flu jab offers protection against the H1N1 virus, as well as other strains of flu virus. It can suppress and treat symptoms effectively to help you get back on your feet again sooner.

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