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Hi there...

I'm 16 weeks pregnant, and the whole "flu" thing has really been brought home to worry me as a friends husband has been hospitalised with swine flu this week.  He's young, fit and healthy, but he's currently on a ventilator and a very poorly man indeed (I should point out I've had no direct contact with him or his family so no danger of contraction).  However, it's scared me a bit!

Having the flu vaccine had not been mentioned/offered to me thus far, but I called the surgery last week and they told me to come down tomorrow and have it as yes, I should be given it. 

But it's sods law, I've started feeling ill myself.  I started coughing last Weds/Thurs then got worse yesterday, and last night had night shivers and sweats.  No temperature (surprisingly) and paracetamol is making me feel 90% back to normal, so I'm fairly confident it's just a pesty cold, but my silly worrying head is already concerned it might end up being flu and I feel like I could kick myself for not going sooner.

It is worth me going for the vaccination tomorrow, or will they refuse it now I have a cold?

Thanks

Sophie
 

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Firstly Influenza comes on suddenly. You will be feeling Ok one hour and then next hour feel chilled to the bone, with a high temperature above 38 degrees, sore muscles and skin and probably feel so ill that you have to go to bed for a few days and you will lose the appetite. There may be diarrhoea and vomiting too. A sore throat, runny nose and cough etc may start soon after.

With a cold it comes on gradually over several days - perhaps a sore throat initially, then a bit of sneezing, then a runny nose, then a cough etc, you might feel a little lousy but be able to carry on. It is unlikely that you will have a temperature.

Yes Swine flu is very nasty and we have patients coming into my ICU this week.
There is no immunity in the population to this virus.

If you do not have a fever, they may well go ahead and vaccinate you. Some nurses may err on the side of caution and wait a few days.

http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/@dh/@en/@ps/documents/digitalasset/dh_119314.pdf

The flu vaccine takes about 10 days to take effect to protect you. Protection is not 100%, as some people may not mount an antibody response.

We did have one pregnant lady in last year who had the vaccine because her children were diagnosed with the virus, but unfortunately she caught swine flu anyway.

In the mean time, make sure you wash your hands and avoid touching your face after being in public places. Particularly avoid things in the doctor's surgery as there may be people suffering from flu in the waiting room. The flu virus survives for many hours on surfaces. Carry an alcohol gel sanitiser with you to clean your hands in the absence of available soap and water.

/links
 
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