A local newspaper website, iomtoday.co.im, has published a list of tips for pregnant women who are concerned about contracting the swine flu virus, following the death of Scottish 38-year-old Jacqui Fleming and her 11-week premature baby this week.
According to health professionals, pregnant women are at greater risk of developing complications should they contract the virus. As a pregnant woman myself, and worried about the swine flu virus, I found the tips useful and worth passing on. The full article is here, but here are some of the tips.
Advice to pregnant women – avoiding swine flu
- Don't worry. The likelihood of picking up swine flu is currently very low.
- If you do develop swine flu, complications are rare and your chances of suffering from them is low.
- Hygiene is important, so frequent hand washing is a must. If you have a cough or sneeze cover your nose and mouth and dispose of your tissues safely.
- Avoid close contact (defined as one metre distance) with anyone with flu symptoms.
- If you have had contact with a case of swine flu, the Public Health Directorate will contact you to provide you with tablets to prevent swine flu.
- If possible you should avoid providing direct care for family/friends who have swine flu and you should seek advice from your GP or Public Health if this is unavoidable.
- Work: The majority of pregnant women can continue to work as normal. Your workplace should have hygiene precautions in place to minimise the risk of transmission of swine flu. If your job involves providing health and personal care your employer should make arrangements for you to avoid working where there are known cases of swine flu. Advice can be obtained from your employer, occupational health service or from Public Health.
- Make sure you have a supply of paracetamol to control your fever and a thermometer to check your temperature.
- If you have returned from an affected area (which at present includes the UK) and develop flu symptoms, contact your GP by phone immediately.
- Antiviral drugs are most effective the earlier you take them but DO NOT take them unless advised by a doctor or nurse. While there is not much experience with using antiviral drugs in pregnancy, no serious side effects have been reported.
- Breastfeeding: If you are breastfeeding your baby and develop flu, continue to breast feed the baby. The breast milk offers protection to the baby from many infections. Do not stop breast feeding because you have been or are taking medicines for your flu.
- If in doubt seek advice from your GP or midwife.