Pregnancy: H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) and the H1N1 Vaccine

What are the symptoms of seasonal and 2009 H1N1 flu?

You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:

*It's important to note that some people with flu will not have a fever.

What should I do if I get sick?

If you get sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home, stay away from others, and call your doctor right away. If needed, he or she will prescribe an antiviral medicine that treats the flu. Have someone check in with you often if you are feeling ill. This is always a good idea.

How is 2009 H1N1 flu treated?

  • 2009 H1N1 flu is treated with antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu® (oseltamivir) or Relenza® (zanamivir). Antiviral drugs are prescription pills, liquids or an inhaled powder that fight against the flu by keeping the germs from growing in your body. These medicines work best if they are taken as soon as you have symptoms of the flu. For that reason, it is important that you call your doctor as soon as you notice flu-like symptoms.

  • If your doctor prescribes an antiviral to treat your flu, you will need to take it for 5 days. The medicine can make you get better faster and make your symptoms milder.

  • At this time, there have been no reports to show harm to the pregnant woman or her unborn baby. Flu can cause serious illness and even death in pregnant women. Taking antiviral medicine can help prevent these severe outcomes.

  • Antiviral medicines can be taken at any stage during pregnancy.

  • Treat any fever right away. Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is best for a pregnant woman to use to reduce a fever.

  • Drink plenty of fluids to replace those you lose when you are sick.

  • If you have had close contact with someone who is sick with the flu, your doctor may prescribe Tamiflu® or Relenza® to help prevent 2009 H1N1 flu. To prevent flu, you would take a lower dose of the medicine for 10 days.

  • Antiviral medicines can be taken at any stage during pregnancy.

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