UAMS Holds "H1N1 in Pregnant Women" Seminar

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The H1N1 flu virus disproportionately affects pregnant women. To better educate healthcare workers in the state, UAMS and the Arkansas Department of Health teamed up to host a seminar on “H1N1 in Pregnant Women.”

The first seminar, using video-conferencing technology to reach more than 20 participating hospitals throughout the state, was held on Monday. The seminar will be repeated on Thursday, October 1st at 7am, and Friday, October 2nd at 8 am. The main conference room is located at UAMS in the Shorey Building, the OB/GYN conference room. Check with your local hospital to see if they are participating through the video-conferencing.

The most vulnerable population to the H1N1 flu virus include those less than 19 years of age, those over 50 years of age, pregnant women, and anyone with chronic illnesses (ie asthma, diabetes).

OB-GYN Dr. Curtis Lowery pointed out that while only 1 percent of the population is pregnant, they represent 6 percent of all hospital admissions with the flu. The changes that take place in the body during pregnancy make the woman more susceptible to infections.

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Dr. Lowery stressed that antivirals work. He said, "The CDC and UAMS and healthcare providers across the state agree that tamiflu should be provided to pregnant patients whey they have a fever, sore throat and/or cough."

While the H1N1 flu virus is not passed through the placenta or breast milk, newborns are vulnerable to the germs from contact (sneezing, coughing, etc). Anyone with symptoms such as fever, cough, and sore throat should avoid contact with pregnant women and newborns.

Remember to practice prevention tactics: washing hands, coughing into your sleeve and not your hand, and staying home when sick.

If you are pregnant and have symptoms, then call your physician.

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For more information on the flu, visit the UAMS Health Flu Center

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