Flu Can Be Dangerous For Pregnant Women: Study

The research suggests that the virus spreads throughout the mother’s body and does not stay in the lungs. The pre-clinical studies have overturned the current scientific philosophy on the reasons why flu infections affect pregnant women and their babies the most.

Every day increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the country have resulted in numerous health theories all over the internet. The elderly, children and pregnant women are said to be at high risk for this deadly virus.

Now, a new research has come which explains how flu can be dangerous for pregnant women. According to it, flu can lead to life-threatening complications during pregnancy.

The research suggests that the virus spreads throughout the mother’s body and does not stay in the lungs. The pre-clinical studies have overturned the current scientific philosophy on the reasons why flu infections affect pregnant women and their babies the most.

Therefore, the researchers worked on it to understand the fundamental biology of how COVID-19 spreads the mother’s lungs into the body.

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Flu and pregnant women: What does the research say?

RMIT University in collaboration with researchers and clinicians from Ireland and Australia, conducted a study on flu’s impact on pregnant women. Their study has been published in PNAS.

The Lead author Dr. Stella Liong suggests that the vascular system is at the heart of the potentially destructive complications caused by influenza during pregnancy.

“We’ve known for a long time that flu can cause serious maternal and fetal complications, but how this happens has not been clearly understood till now,” Liong, a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at RMIT, said.

As the mother is closely connected with the baby, the influenza is not directly passed from the mother to the baby, but its effect is devastating as the complications are suffered by both.

YOU MAY LIKE TO READ: Pregnancy In The Time Of Covid-19: The Biggest Emotional Challenge For Expecting And New Parents Is Anxiety

Hence the mother who develops influenza is at a much higher risk of hospitalization with pneumonia and other complications, while the babies suffer from the flu at the same increased risk. The complications can even lead to fetal growth restriction, miscarriage, and preterm births.

Previously the Scientists believed that flu could cause serious impacts on the pregnant mothers’ health because of were because of their low immunity. They thought that low immunity of pregnant women make it difficult to fight any infection. But new researches have shown that the virus behaves differently on different bodies.

Why does pregnancy make a difference?

The latest study suggests that “the infection may tip that underlying inflammation in the mother’s body over the edge, into a full-blown systemic inflammatory event” 

The placenta secretes proteins and releases fetal DNA into the mother’s blood, which causes underlying inflammation into the mother’s body during pregnancy. Also, the connection with pre-eclampsia, a high blood pressure condition is one of the dangerous complications in pregnancy.

And it was found that the same protein that is elevated in pre-eclampsia is also significantly elevated with flu.

Flu: How dangerous it can be during Coronavirus? 

According to research, “Flu and coronavirus are different, but there are parallels and we do know that COVID-19 causes vascular dysfunction, which can lead to strokes and other cardiovascular problems.”

And studies say pregnancy offers new insights into the fundamental biology of how respiratory viruses can drive dysfunction in the vascular system and can have serious impacts.

Some Tips to prevent Flu in Pregnancy: 

  • Keep washing your hands often
  • Avoid going to crowded places
  • Stay away from people who have a cold
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth frequently. Germs are often spread when you touch a contaminated surface and then touch these areas.
  • Call your doctor whenever you have trouble in breathing
  • Get plenty of rest and sleep
  • Eat a lot of honey-based lozenges to relieve sore throats and coughs.
  • Drink hot water to keep yourself warm
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