July 29, 2009

CDC: Pregnancy increases H1N1 flu risk

Pregnant women might be at increased risk for complications from H1N1 flu and if infected they should be treated with antivirals, U.S. researchers said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta began systematically collecting additional information about cases and deaths in pregnant women in the with the H1N1 virus infection as part of enhanced surveillance.

The CDC researchers summarized cases of infection with pandemic H1N1 virus in pregnant women identified in the during the first month of the present outbreak, and deaths associated with this virus during the first two months of the outbreak.

Corresponding author Dr. Denise J Jamieson said from April 15-May 18, 34 confirmed or probable cases of pandemic H1N1 in pregnant women were reported to CDC from 13 states. Thirty-two percent of the pregnant women were admitted to hospital. The estimated rate of admission for pandemic H1N1 influenza virus infection in pregnant women during the first month of the outbreak was higher than it was in the general population. Between April 15-June 16, six deaths in pregnant women were reported to the CDC; all developed pneumonia and subsequent acute respiratory distress syndrome requiring mechanical ventilation.

The findings are published in the journal The Lancet.