Risks high for pregnant women who get flu - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Risks high for pregnant women who get flu

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Federal health officials warn pregnant women of possible dangers if they get the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gears up for the next flu season, and CDC medical officer Dr. Denise Jamieson says there's clear and regular evidence of dangerous risks for pregnant women.

Jamieson says pregnant women who contract the flu are "more likely to end up in an intensive care unit or even to die."

There are many reasons, but obstetrician-gynecologist Jamieson says two big ones are immune system changes and changes to the uterus that stretches and pushes on the lungs.

On the other hand, Jamieson says immunization can protect not only the mom but also baby, even after birth. Newborns can't be vaccinated but do get the benefit of the vaccine from their moms in utero.

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