Flu during pregnancy increase the risk of autism in children?
Pregnant women exposed to influenza have double risk of children with autism, according to a research. While pregnant women who has a fever for more than a week at risk of having children with autism up to three times greater.
This was discovered after researchers observed 96,000 children in Denmark. This is most likely caused by a weak immune system during pregnancy which ultimately affect the brain development of children.
Several studies have previously looked at the mother’s immune system response associated with fetal development. Researchers then looked at 96,000 children born in 1997 to 2003. Their mothers were interviewed twice during pregnancy and when their baby is six months old. They were questioned about reports of health, illness, and medications they are taking.
In its development, about one percent of 976 children has autism. Mothers admitted with influenza during pregnancy is known to be more at risk of having an autistic child.
“We found that the risk of children exposed to autism increased after influenza virus infects women during pregnancy,” wrote the researchers, as reported by Vitals.
Meanwhile, other woman who had infection such as chills, urinary tract infections, and herpes, does not increase their risk of having a child with autism.
But this does not mean that the flu and fever during pregnancy is a cause of autism. Mothers also do not need to panic when experiencing flu during pregnancy.
“We want to reassure women. In this study, most women who have flu, and takes antibiotics do not have a child with autism,” said Dr. Coleen Boyle. “We do not want pregnant women to worry.”
Researchers are still not sure what causes this. Most likely in addition to the influence of the maternal immune system, it is due to the consumption of some types of antibiotics during pregnancy.