H1N1 swine flu poses a serious threat to pregnant women and those who've recently given birth, warn researchers who studied 16 pregnant women and one postpartum woman admitted to intensive-care units in New York City during the 2009 pandemic.
Two women and one infant died, and there was one stillbirth, said a study in the March 26 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Two case reports highlight how quickly the health of H1N1-infected women can deteriorate. Delays in seeking care, diagnosis, and treatment might increase the potential for rapid clinical decline in some patients, according to the researchers.
They said doctors need to educate pregnant women and those who've just given birth about the risks posed by influenza and the safety and effectiveness of flu vaccines. Also, doctors should immediately begin antiviral treatment in pregnant or postpartum women with possible H1N1 infection, the study authors recommended.