Pregnant Women More Vulnerable to Swine Flu

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The Centers for Disease Control have identified groups who are most vulnerable to the swine flu virus and are recommending they be vaccinated first. Pregnant women, health care workers, and young people between 6-months and 24-years old are on the top of the list.

Health experts said pregnant woman account for six percent of swine flu deaths in the U.S., even though they make up just one percent of the population.

"They're not sure what the trigger is right now in pregnant women," said Brian Opdyke, whose wife has the flu. "But it reacts really, really fast. And she was perfectly healthy before this."

Opdyke's pregnant wife came down with a sore throat which led to the flu --and the tragic death of their baby girl.

"Your immune system is so weak and the flu affects you differently when you are pregnant," said Dr. Jacques Moritz, director of Gynecology at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York. "It really knocks you down."
   
So far, the Centers for Disease Control believe swine flu has infected more than 1 million Americans, with at least 300 deaths. Outbreaks across the country are also affecting children. 
   
Last week, a Young Life camp in Oregon reported 10 kids came down with the flu in less than 48 hours.

"She had a 105 temperature before they put her on the bus," said Doug Doering, whose daughter has the flu. "Her symptoms now include vomiting, congestion and sinus infection."
    
The U.S. will begin testing swine flu vaccines in August. It hopes to have 160 million doses ready in October.

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Heather Sells

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Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.