Preg­nant women urged to get flu vac­cine

Cynon Valley - - YOUR NEWS - MARK SMITH mark.smith@waleson­

PREG­NANT women can pro­tect them­selves and their un­born ba­bies against in­fluenza, a po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous dis­ease, with a free NHS flu vac­cine.

Pub­lic Health Wales is urg­ing all preg­nant women to get their flu vac­cine this win­ter, as they are more vul­ner­a­ble to in­fec­tion and not able to fight viruses such as flu as well as other peo­ple.

A woman who catches flu dur­ing preg­nancy is at risk of be­com­ing very un­well, and is more likely to de­liver her baby early, or for the baby to be still­born or very ill in the first week fol­low­ing the birth.

A preg­nant woman who catches flu is seven times more likely to die than a non-preg­nant woman with flu.

The flu vac­cine is safe for use dur­ing preg­nancy, and not only helps pro­tect women against catch­ing flu, but can also help pro­tect their un­born child for up to six months af­ter birth.

Rachel Field­ing, Head of Mid­wifery at Cwm Taf Univer­sity Health Board said: “We would en­cour­age all mums-to-be to have the flu vac­ci­na­tion to pro­tect them­selves and their un­born baby, while also pro­tect­ing their baby in the first few months too.

“Flu can be a very se­ri­ous con­di­tion if con­tracted in preg­nancy and we want the best out­come for all preg­nant women in Cwm Taf and this is one thing women can do for them­selves to help pro­tect their health and that of their baby in the very best way.”

In­fluenza is a res­pi­ra­tory ill­ness caused by a virus that af­fects the lungs and air­ways. Symp­toms gen­er­ally come on sud­denly, and can in­clude fever, chills, headache, cough, body aches and fa­tigue.

The in­fluenza virus is spread via droplets which are sprayed into the air when an in­fected per­son coughs or sneezes. Di­rect con­tact with con­tam­i­nated hands or sur­faces can also spread in­fec­tion. It can spread rapidly, es­pe­cially in closed com­mu­ni­ties such as hospi­tals, res­i­den­tial homes and schools.

Pub­lic Health Wales is urg­ing all preg­nant women to get their flu vac­cine this win­ter

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