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Swine Flu Closes 3 Schools in NYC
Date:5/15/2009

cording to the CDC.

Earlier this week, U.S. health officials said they were seeing some complications among pregnant women as the swine flu continues to spread across the country, and that this high-risk group needs to take antiviral drugs as soon as infection is suspected.

"Pregnant women are at higher risk of complications of influenza, whether it's the seasonal influenza or pandemics of the past. We are also seeing some severe complications in women with this year's novel H1N1 virus," Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's interim deputy director for science and public health program, said during a Tuesday teleconference.

The CDC was investigating 20 cases of pregnant women with the swine flu, several of whom experienced complications, Schuchat said. Complications can include pneumonia, dehydration and premature birth.

Doctors can be reluctant to treat pregnant women with antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza, and pregnant women may be reluctant to take them out of fear that they may pose a risk during pregnancy, Schuchat said. "Experts who have looked into this situation strongly say that the benefits of using antiviral drugs to treat influenza in a pregnant woman outweigh the theoretical concerns about the drugs," she said.

Of the three swine-flu-related deaths in the United States, one involved a 33-year-old pregnant woman from Texas who had other health problems before she was infected with the virus.

U.S. Human Cases of H1N1 Flu Infection
(As of May 14, 2009, 11:00 AM ET)
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