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Safeguarding Against the Boston Flu Outbreak While Pregnant or Trying to Conceive
January 11, 2013
Flu season peaks in the cold winter month of February, but officials at the CDC are stumped as to why the flu has hit so hard and so early this year, especially in Boston.
Boston mayor, Thomas Menino, has declared a public health emergency after 18 flu-related deaths and a total of 700 reported cases of influenza have surfaced since October 1st- ten times the number of reported cases in 2011.
The city is offering free flu vaccines- the strongest safe guard against further transmission of the virus.
The CDC advises that for pregnant women, and those planning to become pregnant, vaccinating against the flu is imperative. Pregnancy and the stress of infertility lead to lower immunity and greater risk of illness. Pregnant women are more susceptible to severe flu symptoms which may result in hospitalization or preterm labor. The flu vaccination will not only protect the mother, but offer immunity to her unborn child as well, for up to 6 months after birth.
To prevent spread of the flu virus during fertility treatment and pregnancy, practice good hygiene:
- Avoid anyone who is sick. Encourage those who are sick to cover their cough.
- Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when necessary.
- Stay hydrated, eat healthy, and get adequate rest.
For more information about vaccinations during infertility treatment and pregnancy, reference Fertility Authority’s guide to ASRM vaccination recommendations for infertility patients and pregnant women.