Possible Link Between Flu During Pregnancy & Autism Is Another Reason to Get Your Flu Shot

This Just In 30

pregnantIf you have been going back and forth over whether or not you should get a flu shot during your pregnancy, then a new Danish study may convince you to roll up your sleeve without hesitation once and for all.

A new study has found a potential link between kids whose moms had the flu while pregnant and autism. Research showed that moms who had the flu during pregnancy have a slightly higher risk of their child being diagnosed with infantile autism before the age of 3.

And as for why having the flu could possibly make your child more likely to have autism? Researchers say that when a mother's immune system is affected by the flu, it can potentially have an effect on the baby's brain development.

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Ok, so you've probably stopped reading at this point and are rushing to the phone to call your doctor and schedule your flu shot, right? Because you'd think if there was enough of a concern for researchers to conduct this study, it must be something they are pretty worried about.

Interestingly enough, the doctor in charge of the study stressed that 99 percent of moms who had the flu DO NOT have autistic children -- that's how small the possible link is -- and she doesn't think this is anything pregnant women should worry about or panic over.

Whew. That's a relief. But wait a minute -- does that mean pregnant women should get the flu shot, or not? Based on this new research, I'd say it can't hurt to go ahead and have one, regardless of how tiny the link between the flu and autism may be. If nothing else, getting the shot will give you one less thing to worry about and stress over, which is a break that every expectant mom definitely needs.

Have you had your flu shot yet?


Image via cscott2006/Flickr

autism, pregnancy health, illness


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Megan Lee

Never had a flu shot, will never get one.

purvi... purvislets

First we hear that vaccines and flu shots could raise the risk of autism.  Now it's the lack of a flu shot and a resulting flu that may raise the risk.  Why can't they just admit that they don't know one way or the other?

Personally, I'm not getting a flu shot.  I'm not anti-vax, but I've just never liked the flu shots.  I'm not getting the pertussis vaccine during this pregnancy either even though they are pushing it.  My kids are vaxed, but we don't do the flu shots either.

nonmember avatar T

Sure...go ahead and get the shot, then some other nit wit will do a "study" with results saying the flu shot causes Autism.

Maybe it's caused by not drinking enough water....or too much....or too much ice cream....I'm there's a study in progress...

aeneva aeneva

Yeah lets go get a flu shot full of mercury and countless other potentially harmful chemicals that have NOT been tested on pregnant women for the less than 1% chance that getting the flu will harm our unborn child.  That is less than 1% chance of harm IF you get the flu.  Practice healthy habits, eat healthy and you will greatly decrease your chances of getting the flu too without the possible harmful side effects of the chemicals in the vaccine.

nonmember avatar maggie

Flu shots are not "full of mercury" They have less significantly than a single serving of fish, and it's in a form that has been PROVEN to be completely benign to the human body. And saying that healthy living can lessen your chances of getting a virus is the same as the people a century ago saying that moral living can keep you from getting sick. A virus is a virus. If you don't have the immunity, then exposures over the threshold will make you get sick. But I know, you FEEL, and that's far more important than double-blind scientific study. Silly me, trusting facts instead of inflamatory rhetoric...

Bluel... Blueliner

If there were any link then kids in 3rd world countries or even kids born 50 years ago would have had higher rates since no one had flu shots back then... but no, it's almost unheard of in 3rd world countries (not because it's under diagnosed) and was basically unheard of 50 years ago. So 99% of moms who had the flu don't  have an autistic child? That actually seems like better odds that the generally population... Maybe getting the flu decreases the risk lol. Autism is more prevalent in higher income homes, the same homes that are more likely to get the flu shot... so that also doesn't add up for me...

Bluel... Blueliner

The CDC recently reported that autism is about 1 in 88... So the 1 in 100 that this study shows would actually be a negative correlation... suggesting no link, that the flu decreases the risk, or that the flu shot increases the risk.

miche... micheledo

There is also a possible link of the flu shot to miscarriages. 

I actually know someone whose baby died the day or day after getting the flu shot.  She is pretty convinced that it is more then a possible link.

Crystal Winters

the flu has been around for thousands of years and autism has just been around for a few decades so do the math..its not the flu..just admit the truth..

Katie Hesney Johnson

Let's create mass hysteria again!!! Here we go, this is just going to be another vaccination debate. 

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