Health Plus: H1N1 101, Part 3 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: H1N1 101, Part 3


Our special Health Plus H1N1 series continues.

Pregnant women with H1N1 are more likely to be hospitalized, have serious illness or die compared with the rest of us.

That's the stern warning from health officials.

In tonight's report, what local doctors are telling pregnant patients.

Pregnant with her 4th child, Lindsay Wildeboer is thinking more about the flu than in the past.

"It worries me that it's so, that the strains can be so bad it can hospitalize you," she says.

At 8 months along, the registered nurse has reason to be concerned.

"We know that when women develop the influenza virus they can be very ill. The risk of a hospitalization is four times that of a non-pregnant patient. The risk of needing an ICU admission, having pre-term labor or other serious, life-threatening complication is much higher," says Dr. Suzy Wing, an ob-gyn.

Doctor Wing is recommending pregnant women, no matter how far along, get both seasonal and H1N1 vaccines.

She says both are safe and made up of the same ingredients.

"There's a change in immunity during pregnancy so that some things we may be more immune to during pregnancy while other things we're more at risk," says Dr. Wing.

If a pregnant woman should experience flu-like symptoms, Wing says she needs to call her doctor.

"Then when folks do develop the signs and symptoms of influenza, we recommend they contact their providers immediately because there are safe anti-viral medicines that can be used," says Dr. Wing.

Of course like any pregnant woman, Lindsay just wants to protect her unborn son.

"Not knowing exactly what is going to pass to the baby," says Lindsay.

One bright spot, Doctor Wing says H1N1 cannot transfer to a fetus.

But the mother's health is critical to keeping the baby safely developing to full-term.

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