As many of you know, the outbreak of Influenza A has gotten so dangerous that schools are being closed down by the Ministry of Health as the virus is now deemed lethal, having caused the deaths of two children at present. While parents have been advised to closely monitor their child’s health and hygiene, soon-to-be parents should also take note of these precautionary measures to ensure the safety of your unborn child!
Influenza is an infection caused by influenza A, B and C viruses that enter the body through the throat and lungs. If not treated immediately, the virus could lead to severe complications such as renal failure or potentially life-threatening liver failure.
What’s worrying is that 99% of deaths that occur to children below the age of five are influenza related, as reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
So how does this affect soon-to-be mothers? Well, during pregnancy, a woman experiences changes in the immune system which causes them to be more exposed to serious illnesses caused by influenza. These health complications are dangerous because they don’t just affect the mother, they also affect the baby growing in its mother’s womb. Here are some of the diseases that pregnant mothers are at risk of developing if they are diagnosed with influenza:
- Pneumonia, also known as inflammation of the lungs. It is the most common side effect of influenza.
- Meningitis, a virus that spreads to the brain and puts it at risk of inflammation.
- Bronchitis, a lung infection.
- Premature births and miscarriages. This condition is more likely to occur if the victim has high fever above 38.5 degrees celcius during their pregnancy and doesn’t receive proper treatment.
These risks are no joke. But don’t worry, there are preventive measures that you can take to ensure the safety of you and your child. Pregnancy medical officer from MOH, Doctor Muhammad Izzat Abdul Razak, explains more about these measures, following a post on Facebook, as reported by Siakap Keli.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant mothers need not worry about how the vaccine may be harmful to infants. The injection does not cause any adverse effects on mothers. It actually reduces the risk of influenza-related complications!
It’s never too late
There isn’t a specific time during pregnancy where it is deemed dangerous to be vaccinated. In fact. the vaccine is safe to take at any time throughout your pregnancy, from the first trimester to the last.
It’s “just a cold”
While you may think that what you’re experiencing is “just a cold”, influenza is much more dangerous as it can cause severe respiratory problems, especially in high-risk groups such as children and pregnant women.
It’s also highly contagious and can be directly or indirectly transferred through the air or contact with individuals or surroundings that have been exposed to the virus.
Get vaccinated every year
If you think you’re safe because you got a shot last year, think again! You need to get vaccinated every year because that’s how quickly the virus adapts to your body’s immunity.
So if you start showing any symptoms of influenza, it’s best to get checked by a medical professional immediately. Avoid crowded places and wash your hands when you come into contact with contaminated objects or surroundings. Stay safe, everyone!
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