H1N1 and Pregnancy

13 05 2009

Some pregnant women are experiencing severe complications from H1N1 infection, including pneumonia, dehydration and premature labor.

In otherwise healthy individuals, flu of any strain or type can be harder on pregnant women than women who are not pregnant.

CDC is recommending that providers immediately start treating with antivirals if they suspect a pregnant woman in their care is infected with H1N1.

The worrisome part to this – and there’s always a worrisome part – is that not a lot of testing has been done to see how these drugs will affect the pregnant woman or the fetus.

Most providers don’t like to prescribe meds for pregnant women and many of their patients don’t want to take meds while pregnant.

But, the risk of harm appears to be greater with infection than with taking the meds, so please consider taking antivirals if you suspect you have influenza.

If you’re pregnant and you think there’s a remote chance you might be infected with H1N1, call your provider immediately.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, Interim Deputy Director for Science and Public Health program at CDC, said yesterday that, “…experts who have looked into this situation really strongly say that the benefits of using antiviral drugs to treat influenza in a pregnant woman outweigh the theoretical concerns about the drugs.”