Because the flu or influenza is a serious illness and your baby is at risk! Influenza, otherwise known as flu, is an infectious disease that could cause severe complications to pregnant women. Whether you have a healthy or a risky pregnancy, contracting influenza during this time might have detrimental health implications. Possible complications include premature labour, miscarriage and the need for an urgent caesarean delivery.
If you contract flu while pregnant, chances of hospitalisation are high. In the worst-case scenario, women might lose their life to the infection. Although pregnant women are at greater risk of developing these complications, non-pregnant women also ought to contact their doctors as soon as possible as treatment with antiviral medication may be indicated.
The best way to protect your life and that of your baby is by participating in seasonal flu vaccination. It is safe to have a flu shot at any point of the pregnancy. After vaccination, your body will develop antibodies which will help guard you and your baby against the flu infection for up to six months after birth. This is vital considering that children below six months cannot receive the influenza vaccination. Therefore, the only way to protect infants is by vaccinating the mother during pregnancy.
Infants less than six months are ten times more susceptible to contracting flu as compared with older children. Babies tend to develop severe complications following influenza infection, including:
Influenza or flu shot is free for pregnant women under the National Immunisation Program. Pregnant women are, therefore, advised to get the shot. Consult a doctor to find out how you can get your safe and free flu jab today.
Regardless of whether you get the flu vaccination at work or in the community, flu vaccination is an effective way of preventing people from becoming infected with the illness. This is because the less the virus is circulating in the community or at work, the safer the members are. Therefore, having the flu vaccination at work or at your medical centre is not only good for you but also for other people within the locality. Besides vaccination, there are other measures that can reduce the risk of contracting the flu:
The flu vaccine can be administered to anyone planning to conceive or one who is at any stage of the pregnancy, regardless of their due date. The number of women opting for flu vaccination is increasing. In addition, the side effects of the vaccination are minimal.
The influenza vaccine triggers the body’s defence mechanism to create antibodies. The antibodies will fight flu-causing agents if are exposed to them later on. For healthy young adults, the flu shot is up to 80 percent effective, although, in 2017, the flu vaccine was not as effective as previous years.
The side effects resulting from flu shots are usually mild. Only ten percent of the vaccine’s recipients experience side effects. Among the common effects are muscle aches, low-grade fever, swelling at the injection site, and local redness. The influenza vaccine does not contain any whole virus, therefore, it cannot make you sick.
Yes. The flu virus mutates very quickly. A new season flu vaccine is developed every year. Its purpose is to protect against the most dangerous strains (typically Type A and B), especially those strains that are expected during that season.
First, identify the signs and symptoms of flu infection.
Aitor is a Registered Nurse (AHPRA registration NMW0001159845) with over 17 years experience in General Nursing, Emergency Nursing and Corporate Health. He loves Flu, works with Flu, studies Flu, writes about Flu and ironically, he’s had the Flu.
He is the Nurse Consultant at Corporate Care and a proud member of the Australian National Padel Team.
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