A new study developed by scientists from Colombia University brings one more reason in favor of anti-flu vaccination during pregnancy. Results showed that having fever while being pregnant increases the risk of the baby to have an autism spectrum disorder by 300 percent.
The more often you have fever during pregnancy, the more likely is your baby to have autism
Everybody knows that having the flu during pregnancy can lead to certain complications and risks for the infant. However, the new study brings evidence that the flu is related with autism. If the woman has fever often while she is pregnant, her baby is more likely to suffer from an autism spectrum disorder.
Each fever experienced during the any of the trimesters adds 34 percent to the autism risk, but those in the second trimester are more dangerous, as they are linked to a 40 percent risk. If the woman exceeds three instances of fever, then the risk is over 300 percent.
The study looked at 15,701 children from Norway born between 1999 and 2009. All of the mothers reported having had fever during their pregnancies, and 583 of these kids had been diagnosed with autism. This figure represents 3 percent of all children in the study.
Causes of autism have remained unknown
This study is part of a larger global attempt to find the cause of autism. So far, researchers have tried to find possible explanations for the disease, but they still have no clear answer. Some parents think vaccines are to blame, but organizations like CDC and Autism Speaks oppose this theory and encourage parents to vaccinate their children.
Statistics show that around one in 68 children in the United States is diagnosed with autism every year. Anyone can suffer from the disorder, and there’s not much mothers can do but take care of themselves and of the environment they live in while pregnant.
The present study used quite a small sample and was limited to only one country, so researchers are currently developing more advanced research methods, such as blood tests or analysis after pregnancy, to see how fever and infections contribute to autism development.
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