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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
July 1, 2009

Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infections in Three Pregnant Women—United States, April-May 2009

JAMA. 2009;302(1):23-25. doi:

MMWR. 2009;58:497-500

On May 12, this report was posted as an MMWR Dispatch on the MMWR website (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr).

CDC first identified cases of respiratory infection with a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus in the United States on April 15 and 17, 2009.1 During seasonal influenza epidemics and previous pandemics, pregnant women have been at increased risk for complications related to influenza infection.2-5 In addition, maternal influenza virus infection and accompanying hyperthermia place fetuses at risk for complications such as birth defects and preterm birth.6 As part of surveillance for infection with the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus, CDC initiated surveillance for pregnant women who were infected with the novel virus. As of May 10, a total of 20 cases of novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection had been reported among pregnant women in the United States, including 15 confirmed cases and five probable cases.* Among the 13 women from seven states for whom data are available, the median age was 26 years (range: 15-39 years); three women were hospitalized, one of whom died. This report provides preliminary details of three cases of novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in pregnant women. Pregnant women with confirmed, probable, or suspected novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection should receive antiviral treatment for 5 days. Oseltamivir is the preferred treatment for pregnant women, and the drug regimen should be initiated within 48 hours of symptom onset, if possible. Pregnant women who are in close contact with a person with confirmed, probable, or suspected novel influenza A (H1N1) infection should receive a 10-day course of chemoprophylaxis with zanamivir or oseltamivir.

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