Pregnant Women Need Flu Shots
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5222
The eight organizations – the March of Dimes, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses, the Infectious Disease Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine – today partnered to issue a joint statement because the H1N1 virus has proven to be especially dangerous to pregnant women.
“The normal changes of pregnancy make pregnant women at increased risk of the harmful effects of flu infection,” the groups say. Some pregnant women may be reluctant to take these shots. But Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes, says, “We urge every pregnant woman to discuss influenza immunization with her health care provider because the risk of serious illness during pregnancy is substantial. It is important to note that the vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials.”
H1N1 flu is caused by a virus. In the spring of 2009, many people in Mexico became sick with H1N1 (swine) flu. It spread to several countries, including the United States. Now, the US is taking steps to deal with the first influenza pandemic in more than 40 years. Research published Sept. 11, 2009 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which surveyed pregnant women in two states, found that women who got a seasonal flu vaccine did so because their health care provider recommended it.
The complete joint statement and more information about the H1N1 virus can be found on each of the participating organization’s Web site. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also has detailed information available at: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu. The public can contact the CDC with questions by calling 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 or sending an email to: email@example.com
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
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