MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ikwo Oboho, MD, ScMLCDR
United States Public Health Service
Medical Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionPriority Populations Treatment Team| HIV Care & Treatment Branch | Division of Global HIV/TB
Atlanta, GA 30333
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Dr. Oboho: ·Pregnant women with flu are at high risk of serious illness and complications, including death.
The study is based on data gathered from a nationwide flu surveillance network that includes 14 states. The analysis focused on pregnant women hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed flu over four recent flu seasons, from 2010 to 2014.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Dr. Oboho: · During the study period, 865 pregnant women were hospitalized with flu. Sixty-three of these patients, or about 7 percent, had severe illness.
- After adjusting for underlying medical conditions, vaccination status, and pregnancy trimester, we found that early treatment with the antiviral drug oseltamivir was associated with a shorter hospital stay.
- Among pregnant women with severe flu illness who were treated early with oseltamivir — within two days of the start of symptoms — the median length of stay was about five days shorter compared to hospitalized pregnant women with severe flu illness who were treated later
- Pregnant women who were hospitalized with severe cases of flu illness were half as likely to have been vaccinated as women with non-severe illness.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Oboho: · Annual vaccination against flu is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older, including pregnant women, who are at high risk of serious flu illness and complications.
Prompt initiation of antiviral therapy, preferably within two days of suspected or confirmed influenza infection, is encouraged among pregnant women
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Oboho: · It would be important to investigate whether influenza antiviral treatment given after day 2 of illness onset could still benefit pregnant women with influenza, our study was not designed to explore that. However, studies done with different patient-populations have found antiviral treatment given up to 4-5 days of illness onset to still be beneficial.
Another important questions still to be answered is whether early treatment with antiviral drugs among pregnant women with flu could prevent adverse pregnancy-related outcomes such as still birth or prematurity. Our study was not powered to examine that.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Dr. Oboho: This was an observational study and as such had its limitations. Nonetheless, similar studies could be set up in order to corroborate our findings
Ikwo Oboho, Carrie Reed, Paul Gargiullo, Michelle Leon, Deborah Aragon,James Meek, Evan J. Anderson, Patricia Ryan, Ruth Lynfield, Craig Morin,Marisa Bargsten, Shelley Zansky, Brian Fowler, Ann Thomas Mary Lou Lindegren, William Schaffner, Ilene Risk,
Ikwo Oboho, MD, ScMLCDR (2016). Pregnant Women With Flu At High Risk of Serious Illness and Complications