Influenza and pregnancy
Understanding the impact of the influenza virus on pregnant women is particularly relevant at this time of year, as it has the potential to mirror the spike in flu happening in Australia
Pregnant women are at higher risk of developing complications following influenza, particularly in their second and third trimesters, due to their altered immunity and physiological adaptations (Jamieson et al, 2006). Certainly, during the H1N1 virus pandemic, there were 12 reported maternal deaths in the UK (Lim and Mahmood, 2011).
This flu season has the potential to mirror the spike in flu that is happening in Australia in the Southern Hemisphere (Siddique, 2018; Gallagher, 2019; World Health Organization [WHO], 2019b). In Australia during their flu season, influenza A (H3N2) was found to be predominant among the subtype influenza A viruses and was higher than usual flu seasons (WHO, 2019a). Often, as healthcare workers' evidence has shown, we can be ill-informed about the benefit of vaccination and do not educate our patients about it (Broughton et al, 2009).
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