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Flu During Pregnancy May Trigger Autism

 Birth of a child with autism can be caused by health conditions of pregnant women. Flu during pregnancy may trigger autism, especially the flu is transmitted. Doubled risk having a child with autism compared with mothers who did not catch the flu. Although the study did not demonstrate a causal relationship but experts say pregnant women should get the flu vaccine.

The study was conducted by a team from Denmark and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that analyzed more than 97,000 children aged 8-14 years who were born in Denmark between 1997 and 2003. Only one percent of the children were diagnosed with autism spectrum.

The research team interviewed the mothers about the presence or absence of infection and high fever during pregnancy and after childbirth, as well as whether they have ever put on antibiotics.

The question posed to mothers reached 200 questions to seek information about different types of infections during pregnancy.

Although the study was not designed for a case of the flu, but it turns out the women who claimed to have suffered from the flu while pregnant two times greater risk of having a child with autism. Those suffering from fever for a week before the third trimester, the risk of having a child with autism tripled.

Animal studies indicate infant brains infected when the mother's immune system during pregnancy to be active, such as fighting infection. This means that the mother's immune system may play a major role in the development of the baby.

"Research on the link between flu during pregnancy and autism are very attractive because of the scientific evidence in animals that autism is linked to immunological factors that affect infant brain development," said Dr. Susan Hyman, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics subcommittee autism.

However experts say the evidence that the flu during pregnancy triggers autism are less strong. Because it's women who have children with autism do not blame themselves.

"Quite a lot of the symptoms are mistaken for influenza fever and not all women infected with influenza virus notice. Addition, the link between antibiotics and autism has never been found," he said.

Provision of drugs during pregnancy is limited, but expectant mothers suffering from high fever or flu should not be afraid of seeing a doctor to get proper treatment.

In general, pregnant women can increase their immunity against illness by getting a flu shot and get enough rest. Flu vaccine is not only effective for the mother but also will protect infants until six months after birth.

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