Home Health Mayo Clinic Minute: Protecting Pregnant Women Against Flu (Video)

Mayo Clinic Minute: Protecting Pregnant Women Against Flu (Video)


Flu is a respiratory illness that can spread quickly in a community. Vaccination can help slow the spread of disease. There are many health benefits to getting vaccinated. It can keep you from becoming sick, reduce the severity of illness, lower the risk of cardiac events and, for those at high risk, reduce serious complications.

Pregnant women are among those at higher risk of complications. Dr. Thomas Howell Jr., an OB-GYN at Mayo Clinic Health System, explains in this Mayo Clinic Minute.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute


Flu symptoms can feel terrible. For some, having the flu can be devastating.

“We want pregnant women to protect themselves as much as they can. But one of the ways we do that is by protecting the community,” says Dr. Howell.

Pregnant women are more likely to develop flu complications, especially in the second and third trimesters. And flu infection also increases the risks of fetal birth defects.

“If you have a pregnant person in your house, your family, your immediate sphere of activity and influence, should you get a flu shot? Absolutely. Are you doing it just for you? Absolutely not,” he says.

Their health depends on the health of others during this flu season.

“Your ability to not get as sick or not have as much exposure is important for everybody,” says Dr. Howell.

The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to take effect. And it’s essential to use other safety measures. Wash your hands often, practice good health habits and stay home when sick.

Dr. Howell says everyone who is eligible should get a flu shot this season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine yearly.

The post Mayo Clinic Minute: Protecting pregnant women against flu appeared first on Mayo Clinic News Network.

Mayo Clinic, posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com

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Republished with permission

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