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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Swine 'flu in pregnancy advice

The Department of Health (DH) has reissued advice for pregnant women and parents after a women died of swine 'flu shortly after giving birth.

The existing hygiene advice has been re-stated with the public urged to remember to Catch it, Bin It, Kill It. Coughs and sneezes should be caught in a tissue, put quickly in a bin and hands and surfaces washed regularly to kill the virus.

The advice also states that most cases of swine 'flu, including those in pregnant women, are likely to be mild. There is a higher risk of developing complications during pregnancy. Some organisations, such as the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists are advising pregnant women to avoid crowded places when possible.

The DH also provides some reassurance about the availability of antiviral medication for use during pregnancy and breast feeding.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this advice. Pregnant women should be reassured that swine 'flu is mild in most cases. Avoiding situations where contracting the virus is more likely (such as crowded places) is a common sense approach to reducing the risk of infection and therefore complications.

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