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Flu and Pregnancy

Flu and Pregnancy

by: Dr. Monica Agarwal
Sr. Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology - Paras Bliss, Panchkula

There are two things we need to know – Flu and cold during pregnancy.

Cold is a very common mild viral infection of nose, throat and upper airway. It can cause blocked & runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and cough. It usually lasts for a week. It has no cure and is self limiting. Relief of symptoms can be achieved with medications prescribed by your Obstetrician, steam inhalation, hydration and other measures.

 Flu during pregnancy is more severe and longer as compared to the one who is not pregnant. This is because of the changes in immune system, heart and lungs in the pregnant women which makes them prone to severe illness. It also affects the baby by adversely affecting the growth of the baby.

Vaccination during pregnancy is important for protection against flu. Every pregnant lady should get a flu shot. It helps protect both mother and baby from flu. Flu vaccine benefits the baby for about 6 months after birth also.

Prevention

  • Washing hands regularly
  • Maintaining safe distance from fever patients
  • Avoiding exposure to harsh temperatures and pollution

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Body ache
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Runny or stuffy nose

Treatment

  • Rest
  • Keep warm
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Early treatment is the best. Antiviral drugs can be given in severe cases. These reduce the length of illness and relieve symptoms.
  • Fever can be treated by medications prescribed the doctor

Danger signs

  • Breathlessness
  • Pain in chest or abdomen
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe and persistent vomiting
  • Decreased fetal movements
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