In this article, I will share with you what you wonder about the flu and its effects in pregnancy.

Influenza virus is more easily transmitted to the four groups of people I have written below, and creates a more severe infection. These:

  1. Children under 1- 5 years old
  2. people with advanced age and heart-lung diseases
  3. People with weakened immunity
  4. Pregnant women

How does the flu course during pregnancy?

The flu is more dangerous for pregnant women than non-pregnant women and men. It is more severe during pregnancy and severe infection requiring hospitalization is more common in pregnant women compared to the general population. Pregnant women in the later weeks are more at risk.

Do babies of pregnant women who have the flu have problems?

If you have a simple flu, the answer is no. However, if secondary bacterial infections are added to the flu infection or high fever accompanies, the risks of premature birth and neural tube defects in the baby may increase.

In other words, the causes of problems in the babies of pregnant women with flu are complications such as worsening of the mother’s condition due to the flu, turning into pneumonia and being admitted to the intensive care unit.

How is the flu transmitted?

The virus is spread by the coughing and sneezing of the sick person. Droplets containing the virus are transmitted to the ambient air and surrounding objects. The person who breathes this airdrops  also gets the virus. Or, if he touches the surrounding items contaminated with viral particles and brings the same hand to his mouth, nose or eyes, she can get the infection.

How long is the incubation period?

Average is 1-3 days.

What can happen if the flu is progressive?

Severe symptoms such as high fever, difficulty in breathing, dark bloody sputum, respiratory failure, seizure, loss of consciousness may occur.

If the above symptoms are present, hospitalization is required. Virus typing is done by early antigen test and PCR method on swabs taken from the throat or nose.

How is the flu treated during pregnancy?

Pregnant women with flu and severe conditions must be treated by being hospitalized. Respiratory, heart and brain functions are monitored. If necessary, antiviral drugs (such as oseltamivir, zanamivir), antibiotics can be used against flu and pneumonia. Your medicines are arranged in a way that does not cause any problems for the baby.

Can pregnant women get the flu vaccine?

The best protection against the flu is getting vaccinated. With the vaccine to be made before the disease season comes, you will be protected against the flu at a high rate. The flu vaccine can be given during pregnancy. It does not pose a risk to the baby.

How can I protect myself from getting the flu?

Avoid close contact with people who have severe flu. Wear a mask. Wash your hands frequently with soap.

The tissue paper you use when you sneeze or cough should be disposable. Use it, throw it away and use a new one as needed.

Ventilate your environment frequently.

You can wear a mask when entering hospitals. Hospitals are environments that host many microbes, including flu.

I wish you all good health and good days.

Prof. Dr. Yavuz ŞİMŞEK