Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Exactly What Does The Influenza Flu Do In Order To A Fetus

What Does the Influenza Flu Do to a Fetus?


Researchers in China found the bird flu virus can be transmitted from mother to fetus via the placenta, however the fetus did not sustain the same extent of damage as the mother, who died from effects of the disease. It is unknown whether the swine flu virus can cross the placenta. The potential for harm to the fetus is small, however, because unlike cytomegaly and rubella viruses, there has been no correlation between flu virus itself and birth defects. Providing that flu symptoms in the mother are controlled, there is little risk to the fetus of a woman who is exposed to or contracts the flu.


Maternal dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea in pregnancy increases the risk of preterm birth. Babies that are born more than two weeks before their due dates are more likely to have low birth weights, respiratory problems, feeding problems and developmental delays. When ill, taking frequent sips of fluid such as sports drinks or commercial infant electrolyte replacements can prevent dehydration. A pregnant woman may need to receive intravenous fluid replacement if she has been vomiting for more than 24 hours or has had diarrhea for more than two days.


The fetus has no way to cool itself, hence medical advisories against hot tubs during pregnancy. When a pregnant woman has a core (rectal) temperature consistently over 102F for more than a day, her fetus may sustain damage, depending on gestational age. The risks are greatest during the first trimester, particularly during the sixth week of gestation when neural tube development is most delicate. Fever in later stages of pregnancy has shown little effect on fetal development. Pregnant women can cool off in a shower or take acetaminophen to reduce fevers over 101F. Fever that lasts for more than three days could be a sign of more serious illness and should be evaluated by a health care professional.


During pregnancy, women are vulnerable to infections because immune defenses are lower and changes in heart and lung function occur. Flu symptoms include chills, fever, sore throat, runny nose, aches, tiredness and loss of appetite. Pregnant women who get the flu are at greater risk of developing severe bacterial pneumonia. As long as the woman is not allergic to eggs, her doctor may advise her and her family members to get flu vaccines. Lack of studies showing safety and effectiveness, added to worry about rare reactions to ingredients in flu vaccines, have fueled controversy around vaccination. Researchers have not been able to confirm that young children who are vaccinated have less flu infections

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