ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Fractures in Older Adults Up Death Risk
CANCER
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
CAREGIVING
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Holistic Dentistry-My View
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Ozone-Depleting Inhalers Being Phased Out
Seasons Arriving 2 Days Earlier, Study Says
EYE CARE, VISION
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
FITNESS
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
Multivitamins Might Prolong Life
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Add your Article

Swine Flu May Pose Problems for Pregnant Women

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials said Tuesday that they're seeing some complications among pregnant women as the swine flu continues to spread across the country.

"Pregnant women are at higher risk of complications of influenza, whether it's the seasonal influenza or pandemics of the past. We are also seeing some severe complications in women with this year's novel H1N1 virus," Dr. Anne Schuchat, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's interim deputy director for science and public health program, said during an afternoon teleconference.

The CDC is investigating 20 cases of pregnant women with the swine flu, several of whom experienced complications, Schuchat said. Complications can include pneumonia, dehydration and premature birth.

"It is very important that doctors who are caring for pregnant women they suspect may have influenza, that they issue prompt treatment with antiviral medicines," she said.

Doctors can be reluctant to treat pregnant women with antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza, and pregnant women may be reluctant to take them out of fear that they may pose a risk during pregnancy, Schuchat said. "Experts who have looked into this situation strongly say that the benefits of using antiviral drugs to treat influenza in a pregnant woman outweigh the theoretical concerns about the drugs," she said.

Of the three swine-flu related deaths in the United States, one involved a 33-year-old pregnant woman from Texas who had other health problems before she was infected with the virus.

Schuchat said Monday that federal health officials were shifting their focus from individual cases of infection to trying to project what is likely to occur with the virus in the fall. Because the new virus -- technically called H1N1 -- is a highly unusual genetic mix of bird, pig and human viruses, health officials worry that it could continue to mutate and return in a more virulent form for next winter's flu season.

The CDC is concerned with what will happen as this new virus moves into the Southern Hemisphere, where the flu season is about to start. The agency is also preparing for the virus' likely return in the fall to the Northern Hemisphere, Schuchat said.

As of Tuesday, there were slightly more than 3,000 confirmed cases in 45 states and the District of Columbia, with three confirmed deaths and 116 people hospitalized. All three patients who have died in the United States had underlying health problems before their infection with the flu.

Testing has found that the swine flu virus remains susceptible to two common antiviral drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza, according to the CDC.

Schuchat said Monday that the confirmed cases were likely just the tip of the iceberg. Many people who become ill don't seek medical attention and are never tested for this strain of flu. "The numbers we are reporting are a minority of the actual infections that are occurring in the country," she said.

Reporting Monday in the journal Science, researchers from the World Health Organization said the swine flu epidemic has pandemic potential and is likely to be comparable to other 20th century pandemics -- at least in terms of its spread.

The report also suggested that the true number of -- largely unreported -- swine flu infections in Mexico, the outbreak's epicenter, possibly had already reached 32,000 by the end of April. The World Health Organization's official tally for Mexico stood Tuesday at 2,059 confirmed human infections, including 56 deaths.

The United States has now surpassed Mexico -- believed to be the source of the outbreak -- as the country most affected by the epidemic, according to World Health Organization statistics. As of Tuesday, the agency was reporting 5,251 confirmed cases of swine flu in 30 countries, with Canada, Spain and the United Kingdom having the most cases outside of the United States and Mexico.

Meanwhile in Mexico, federal health officials said Tuesday that the worst seemed to be over despite more deaths. The country's death toll rose Tuesday to 58 deaths and 2,282 confirmed cases of swine flu -- a rise of two deaths and 223 more cases since Monday. But Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said this reflects a testing backlog: The last confirmed case was May 8, the Associated Press reported.

Also Tuesday, Swiss drug maker Roche Holding AG said it was donating enough Tamiflu for 5.65 million people to the World Health Organization.

TOTAL*(45) 3009 cases 3 deaths
*includes the District of Columbia
**One case is resident of Ky. but currently hospitalized in Ga.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More information

For more on swine flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



SOURCES: May 12, 2009, teleconference with Anne Schuchat, M.D., interim deputy director for science and public health program, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Associated Press

Last Updated: May 12, 2009

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