Pregnant women who have been infected with H1N1 swine flu virus are at a greater risk of delivering still born babies, a new study by Oxford researchers reveals.
Researchers from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the Oxford University analyzed data of every pregnant woman in the UK over the past 2 years and found that baby deaths among women who had been infected with the 2009 strain of the virus was five times more than normal.
In total, the researchers found that 256 women infected with the virus had gotten pregnant during the period between September 2009 and January 2010, seven of whom delivered stillborn babies while three more died soon after birth. This meant that the infant death rate among swine flu infected women was 39 in 1,000 babies compared to 7 deaths in 1,000 babies among women not infected with the virus.
"This new evidence of the risk to babies shows even more clearly the severe consequences H1N1 flu infection can have in pregnancy. By getting vaccinated against flu, women can prevent these risks to both themselves and their unborn child", lead researcher Dr Marian Knight said.