Study: Antiviral Medication Beneficial for Pregnant Women Hospitalized with Flu

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Pregnant women hospitalized with the flu, especially severe cases, should be treated early with antiviral medication, according to a study published today in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

The study included 865 pregnant women who were hospitalized with flu from 14 states. Sixty-three of these patients, or about 7 percent, had severe illness.

The findings suggest that hospital stays for pregnant women with the flu averaged five days shorter than similar patients treated later. A press release said that past studies have suggested that flu antiviral therapy is safe and beneficial for pregnant women.

The study also suggests that vaccination for pregnant women helps to prevent influenza and associated complications for themselves and their infants. The Centers for Disease Control recommends an annual flu vaccination for everyone six months of age and older.

Appalachia Helth News

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.