Wednesday, July 29, 2009

H1N1 infection in Pregnancy

I received many phone calls from my pregnant patients lately. They were very concerned about the H1N1 outbreak in Butterworth area, particularly after the closure of one of the Chinese Primary schools in Sungai Puyu and a Polytechnic in Permatang Pauh.

Their fear and worry are justifiable because pregnant ladies carry higher chance of H1N1 infection.

Why pregnant lady is prone for serious H1N1 infection ?

No one know the answer as the disease is still new. Maybe the immunological chances in pregnancy is the reason to explain it.

What is the effect of H1N1 infection to my baby ?

Again no one know the answer !! The doctors are still monitoring the situation.

However, there were 2 cases of H1N1 in pregnancy reported in Singapore. Both of them are doing fine at the moment.

What are the symptoms of H1N1?

Symptoms are like seasonal flu and include the following:

1) Fever

2) Cough

3) Sore throat

4) Body aches

5) Headaches

6) Chills and fatigue

7) Sometimes, diarrhea and vomiting

What can I do to protect myself, my baby and my family?

1) Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or sneeze into your sleeve. Throw the tissue in the rubbish bin after you use it.

2) Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 15 minutes, especially after you cough or sneeze.

3) Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

4) Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

5) If you are pregnant and you live or have close contact with someone who has H1N1 flu, talk to your doctor about medicines to prevent flu.

6) Avoid crowded places like shopping centre and public transport.

Finally, those who are still not pregnant, delay your pregnancy until the outbreak is over.

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