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Pregnant woman dies of H1N1 flu, infant in critical condition

Just a few weeks ago, on the 11th of February, a pregnant woman who already had a three-year-old son checked into a medical center with what she thought was a bad cold. The 25 year-old woman was having trouble breathing, she was later diagnosed with the H1N1 flu and transported to a regional hospital. She succumbed to the virus and passed away on Monday, ten days after she first decided to seek medical attention.

The infant is in critical but stable condition. Born at a weight of only four pounds, seven ounces, she was initially on a feeding tube but is now feeding from a bottle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control influenza is more likely to cause serious sickness in pregnant women compared to those who are not. The mother's flu can also cause complications such as premature labor. The CDC website notes the increased risk of hospitalization or death from the flu for pregnant woman is a result of physiological changes to the immune system, heart and lungs during pregnancy.

The CDC says that it is very important for pregnant woman to get the flu shot. They note that it is not only safe for pregnant women, but that it also protects the heath of the baby even after it is born. According to the deceased mother's family she would have gotten the flu shot if she had been informed of how important it was for pregnant women, "she didn't realize how important getting it was, as a lot of people don't."

Source: The Tennessean "Pregnant woman dies of H1N1 flu; baby is in critical condition" February 25, 2011

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