Flu During Pregnancy Linked to Autism: Study

Dr. Richard Besser discusses a new study about having a fever or flu during pregnancy.
3:00 | 11/12/12

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Transcript for Flu During Pregnancy Linked to Autism: Study
Autism is estimated to affect 1 out of every 88 children born in the u.S. And now a new study says that having the fever or a flu for a week during pregnancy could at least double the chances for a child born with autism. Abc's dr. Richard besser is here with us to break down the new research. Dr. Besser, this is a frightening head line. So here's what they found. If a mother rd having flu during pregnancy, her risk of having a child with autism increased from 1% to 2%. If she reported having fever for seve days, the risk went from 1% to 3%. So while it's doubling or tripling, it's still very small. There are a number of questions about the study itself. It's called an exploratory study so it's designed to look for more things to study in detail. They enrolled over 100,000 moms in this study in denmark. They never tested them for flu. So in future studies, they're going to look to see, does this really hold up. In the meantime, what should a woman do if she's pregnant, should she get the flu shot? We know women at risk are going to have the most severe flu. They should get the spray. And parents s blame themselves if they have a child with autism? Absolutely not. Even those women who had the flu the risk of having a child with autism is less than 2%. Thanks so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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