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Home    Newsroom    News Releases    CoxHealth News: September 2009    CoxHealth physician urges pregnant women to get flu shot
CoxHealth physician urges pregnant women to get flu shot

For immediate release
Sept. 15, 2009

Dr. Patricia Dix, a maternal/fetal medicine specialist with CoxHealth, is urging all pregnant women and their family members to be vaccinated for the seasonal flu and H1N1 viruses.

"For pregnant women, it's especially important because flu is a much worse disease when you're pregnant than it is when you're not pregnant," says Dix, who cares for women with high-risk pregnancies. "You're more likely to get pneumonia, you're more likely to be on a ventilator and you're more likely to die," she says.

During the outbreak of H1N1 in the U.S. this past spring, six percent of deaths associated with the disease were in pregnant women, yet only one percent of the total population was pregnant. "That tells you how much more susceptible they are," Dix says.

Dr. Dix also urges everyone in the pregnant woman's household to get their flu vaccinations. Not only does it protect those individuals who receive the shot, but it will help protect the newborn baby once he or she arrives. "We can't vaccinate babies until they are 6 months old, and infants are so terribly susceptible that everyone in the household should be vaccinated, even if the vaccine isn't available until after the delivery," says Dix.

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