Programming interruption – special message for pregnant women

The regular programming on this blog is being interrupted today to provide important information. Tomorrow, the normal programming will return filled with all its typical pertinence and irreverence (underwear, midlife crises, camping, swearing, B.O.B., girlfriends, food groups, pantyhose friction, children, cougars, and so on…).

Today, I want to share an article that one of my Ready Campus Initiative team members (Alex) forwarded on to me that is indeed sobering. The article summarizes a news briefing about H1N1 and pregnant women. Pregnant women are at an increased danger from H1N1. Pregnant women are not only disproportionately being hospitalized from this virus, they are also disproportionately dying.

Pregnancy is a magical time (yes, I said magical – disregard the morning sickness, backaches, popped out bellybutton, waddle and ankles that look like tree trunks for the time being). Much hope and joy is tied up in the expectation of a new life. However, being pregnant does strain a woman’s body and with more and more pregnant women in the workplace the pairing of strain and exposure can be deadly.

Please forward the short blip below on to all the pregnant women you know. Also, forward this on to spouses and family members of pregnant women so that they can appreciate the importance of being vigilant in regard to their ability to spread germs to the pregnant member of their family. For more information see http://www.flu.gov/individualfamily/parents/pregnant/.

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CDC: 28 Pregnant Women Dead From H1N1
Friday, October 02, 2009
By Karlie Pouliot

A stark reminder about how deadly the new H1N1 virus can be. During a news briefing Thursday, U.S. health officials said the virus has hit pregnant women especially hard.

Since it first surfaced in April, 28 pregnant women with H1N1 have died. One hundred expectant mothers have been hospitalized.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC said these numbers “are really upsetting” and urged pregnant women to get the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine.

“I just want to remind women and doctors and nurse midwives that antiviral medicine can be a very important treatment for pregnant women who have respiratory illness,” Schuchat said at the briefing.

Dr. Manny Alvarez, head of maternal fetal medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J., and managing editor of health at FOXNews.com, said there are two fundamental risk factors that pregnant women face when they get the flu.

“First, pregnant woman have an immune system that is slow – it’s like their immune system is on standby – and it’s not as reactive as a non-pregnant person’s,” Alvarez said. “And because of that, viruses, especially flu viruses of any sort can create a very severe infection.”

The second challenge women face is as the baby grows inside the womb, the anatomy of a woman’s chest changes.

“Their whole respiratory volume changes,” Alvarez said. “So if they get a secondary infection, such as pneumonia after the flu, it makes it very challenging and problematic for doctors to get airflow back into the lungs.”

Until now, the CDC has never really looked closely at influenza in pregnant women.

“It’s hard to say if what we’re seeing now is out of the ordinary compared to the how pregnant women have been affected by the seasonal flu,” said Tom Skinner, CDC spokesman. “But what we are hearing from physicians around the country is that they’ve never seen pregnant women impacted like this by the flu… and so we’re going to have to some more research to understand if this is a unique situation to this new virus.”

Alvarez, who treats high-risk pregnancy patients, said at this time he’s making sure all of his patients know about the dangers of the flu.

“Just yesterday, a patient informed me that her son had the flu, so we immediately began administering antiviral medications, until the new vaccine becomes available.”

Unlike other patients, pregnant women cannot get the nasal spray FluMist, Skinner said.

“They must get the injectable vaccine, which will hopefully be available starting next week,” he added.

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Take good care…let’s get through this health crisis wiser and not too much worse for the wear.

Day ninety of the new forty – obla di obla da

CC

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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5 Responses to Programming interruption – special message for pregnant women

  1. PrairieWoman says:

    I completely support your posting of this important message and I hope that any pregnant woman and her family, friends, employers etc take it seriously.

  2. Abra La Mente says:

    Thanks for posting that. I have one pregnant co-worker, due in two weeks. I pray she remains healthy through the rest of this journey.

  3. STC says:

    Personally, I won’t be worried until I start to experience one of the following:

    - Oinking.
    - Sprouting a snout or curly tail.
    - An unusual craving to roll around in the mud.
    - Start to fear bacon.

  4. DNA says:

    im afraid i must also agree with STC. I feel any contagious illness should be taken seriously, especially if your pregnant. however, i do feel that when the H1N1 is taken into perspective with other illnesses and diseases it just doesnt hold its own. we should remain vigil on any illness front, but i am more worried about that snout and curly tail sprouting than the flu. and by the way, you should use that witless picture as your main pic in all of your social sites. very hot

  5. Avatar of Ms. C Ms. C says:

    PW & Abra – please do share the news with pregnant women and thank you for your support. All we can hope is that we can help inform those we can reach so that they can take the necessary precautions.

    STC – hmmmm…well, as long as you are not pregnant I think your approach is okay. Please do update me though if any of your worrisome symptoms to occur and if possible send video footage at the onset of symptoms. ;-)

    DNA ~ your point is noted – panic is not necessary, but caution is for those who have underlying conditions like pregnancy, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, etc. If you do get a snout and curly tail could you likewise send video footage? As for the witless picture…hmmm…interesting that I am deemed hot when I look like I don’t have a brain in my head…I’ll note it for future reference. :-)

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