PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- Concern over the flu outbreak -- with 47 of 50 states in the U.S. treating serious numbers in flu cases, in a season that's hit health providers much earlier than usual -- is extending to expecting mothers.
Women and Infants Hospital's Dr. Brenna Anderson told Eyewitness News it's simply better for pregnant women to get a flu shot, and there's still time to do it.
Statistics for this season already show cause for concern: The hospital has admitted 23 flu-positive pregnant women this year.
Last flu season, by this point, there'd been zero -- and once the flu season was over, only six pregnant patients had been admitted because of the flu.
The influenza virus can cause serious complications, and it's believed women get more sick if they contract the flu during pregnancy. Guarding against it -- by getting a flu shot -- is the best choice.
The fetus will not be affected by the flu shot, either, as shown by extensive studies, Dr. Anderson said: "The flu shot is not risky to the fetus at all. In fact, it may even protect the fetus"; and may actually decrease the risk of miscarriage.
The flu shot does not cause the flu, the hospital said; people who get a shot -- which guards against many known strains -- may still get the flu from a different or undocumented strain.
Copyright WPRI 12
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