April 18, 2014 12:01 am
Updated: April 18, 2014 12:03 am

Pregnancy vs the Flu Shot


For years pregnant women have shied away from the dreaded flu vaccine. Myths that it would make them sick or negatively affect the baby, were never questioned or even researched. Five years ago, medical specialists took another look at the flu vaccine and its effects on pregnant women.

The findings were rather interesting.

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“Pregnant women are more likely than their healthy counterparts to be hospitalized for flu because they just don’t have as good respiratory functions in the later stages of pregnancy,” Dr. Allison McGeer, a microbiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto said. “If you get vaccinated when you’re pregnant the antibodies that you make goes through the placenta and protects your baby.”

“If you get vaccinated when you are pregnant your baby is less likely to born prematurely,” she added.

The flu is also a very common cause for hospitalization of infants up to six months old because they are too young to get vaccinated.

This flu season has been particularly harsh with people experiencing multiple cold symptoms. The mystery behind the high number of illnesses is not a new flu season but rather the influenza B virus making an appearance as we transition from winter to spring.

Health experts say we are susceptible to getting sick again because our bodies are already vulnerable from the initial flu and cold.

“You get one infection, and the cells in your airways get infected, they are already damaged and that makes it easier for another virus to cause an infection,” Dr. McGeer said.

Aside from getting the flu shot, there are some ways to keep yourself from getting sick.

Washing your hands, getting lots of sleep and exercise, keeping yourself hydrated and to sanitizing public areas around your home and workspace will help combat that nasty bug from spreading.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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