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Quick H1N1 Treatment Saved Lives Of Pregnant Women

April 21, 2010

Pregnant women who caught the H1N1 influenza were far less likely to die as a result of the disease if they were treated by flu medication within the first 48 hours, a new study published in the Wednesday edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concludes.

According to the results of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, which were published by JAMA as part of an abstract accompanying the research, “Pregnant women had a disproportionately high risk of mortality due to 2009 influenza A(H1N1). Among pregnant women with 2009 influenza A(H1N1) influenza reported to the CDC, early antiviral treatment appeared to be associated with fewer admissions to an ICU and fewer deaths.”

During their research, the CDC authors analyzed the reports of 788 women pregnant women in the U.S. who caught the swine flu between April and August of 2009. Of those women, 30 died and 509 were hospitalized, with 115 of them admitted to intensive care.

They found that women who did not receive treatment until at least four days after the onset of symptoms were about six times more likely to be sent to the ICU than those treated within the first two days. Furthermore, only one death was reported among those pregnant women who received treatment within 48 hours.

“Early treatment really makes a difference,” Dr. Sonja Rasmussen, co-author of the study and member of the CDC’s Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, told AP Medical Writer Mike Stobbe on Tuesday. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been a total of 16,000 global H1N1 related deaths reported to date.

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