Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's Back

No need to inform anyone that this is a very bad flu season. There has even been talk about re-inoculation with another strain of H1N3. Why is it that although providers, WHO, CDC, March of Dimes all recommend the vaccine to pregnant women and their close contacts, people are resistant to getting the flu vaccine? The evidence for vaccine is clear and scientific. It is a non-live, inactivated innoculation that cannot cause the flu.

Pregnancy is identified as a primary risk factor for developing severe flu virus-related morbidity (  illness ). Perhaps because of immune changes in pregnant women they are actually immunocompromised and that puts them at greater risk for admittance to ICU and for longer stays. The incidents of viral pneumonia and even death from the flu are higher in pregnant women. There is lung damage associated with lung inflammation and  impaired wound repair. Incidence of flu also increases with pregnant women who have comorbidities such as asthma, diabetes ( types 1 and 2, also gestational diabetes ) and high blood pressure.

Antiviral therapies are appropriate in cases of the flu and the sooner they are started the better. Oseltamivir ( generic ) is most effective if begun within 48 hours of symptoms, which include myalgia ( muscle soreness ), vomiiting, and respiratory illness and fever.

The flu is harmful to a fetus as well as its mother. Almost 95% of pregnant women admitted to the hospital with the flu are in their second or third trimesters. They suffer much greater incidence of preterm or very preterm births and low birth weight babies. Early treatment is favorable because of possible harmful side effects of the FLU ( not the vaccination ) to the fetus, such as miscarriage and congenital malformation

It is not too late to get a flu shot. It is not too .late for your close associates to get a flu shot. Remember that your baby is only partially immunized from you, if you have had the vaccine and she will not receive flu preventative as an infant, so coming in contact with someone who has the flu is extremely dangerous. There is enough that is uncertain about life; please get a flu shot and urge everyone you know to get one too.