Pregnant women told to get flu shot for winter
CDC issues guidelines as flu season expected to be worse
With the flu season expected to be worse in the winter of 2018-2019, the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that pregnant women must be vaccinated as it will reduce the impact of the disease by 40 per cent. The guidelines have been released as it has been found that the number of cases will be high this year as compared to those in the winter of 2017-2018.
Director of Institute of Preventive Medicine Dr K. Shankar, said, “A pregnant woman must be vaccinated as her immunity is compromised and the vaccine is safe. The Government of India also has guidelines where we are insisting that pregnant women during this season must opt for vaccination. It is found to help. It is not that the flu will not affect them. Even if they get the flu, the vaccine will ensure that it will be less debilitating than it will be in those women who are not vaccinated.”
Flu complications often lead to pneumonia and multi-organ failure in pregnant women as their immunity is compromised. In 80 per cent of the cases, the hospitals have also noted late admissions due to which management of the disease becomes a major problem.
Superintendent of Gandhi Hospital Dr Shravan Kumar, said, “In pregnant women we find that they do not give priority to their treatment. But in the winter season, due to the increasing incidences of flu, we are counselling that early treatment is required. Hand hygiene, avoiding crowded places is a must.
Every day 100 samples of blood are being collected from the State and sent to the Institute of Preventive Medicines for testing of swine flu. The cost of tests in private hospitals as decided by the government is `3,500 per test.
There are about 50 to 80 blood samples which are sent from private hospitals every day.
The number of swine flu cases are high and experts state that the virus is in the third year of its cycle hence whether it has mutated or not, will have to be seen in the winter months. The virulence is decided on the basis of the spread and the debilitation that it causes in the human body.