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H1N1 linked to miscarriage in Oz

(23 Posts)
talkalot Tue 21-Jul-09 22:36:54

Hi-I am new to this site and am pregnant. I have had two miscariages this year, but this third pregnancy is going well so far. I am an Aussie and was about to travel back to Brisbane in two weeks for my brother's wedding. However, my family Doctor in Bris has advised me not to travel as they have found a link between swine flu and miscarriage and he says it's not worth the risk. A women is currently in intensive care after having maiscarried today--the baby obviously died. Noone seems to have this information in the UK and the advice about travel and crowds is still just the mum-to-be's 'personal choice'. This means that I can't get my money back on my ticket, because my insurance won't cover cancellation for a 'personal choice'. What choice do I really have if I believe there is even the slightest chance I could have a third miscarriage? Just thought others out there should know that despite concerns that it's all media hype-there still is a real threat of a real medical problem.

oranges Tue 21-Jul-09 22:43:18

But are you worried about the travel, or the risk of catching swine flu when out in Brisbane? If its the latter, you could catch it here as well.

whomovedmychocolate Tue 21-Jul-09 22:51:52

Are you in Oz or here at the mo - because I know Oz has worse infection rates than here.

The real risk with swine flu is uncontrolled pyrexia (high fever 38.5 or above) which can cause premature labour and obviously if that is before 36 weeks or in an unsafe environment can be very dangerous for both of you.

How pregnant are you exactly? This makes a difference to the risks?

Personally I have had two miscarriages and I'm of the school of thought that they are not often caused by illness - but mostly with problems with the baby.

It's up to you of course but I'd take local advice and take appropriate hand hygiene measures and just call it on the day.

dikkertjedap Wed 22-Jul-09 11:54:54

Can't you get a letter from a doctor saying that you cannot travel (doesn't matter what reason he gives, could be tummy bug or something else infectious) - that should be sufficient for your travel insurance I presume?

pooka Wed 22-Jul-09 11:59:27

Agree with poster who says that if H1N1 related to miscarriage, then wouldn't that be just as applicable here as in Oz?

belgo Wed 22-Jul-09 12:06:52

If you really don't want to go, then I would speak to the doctor and say that it is medically advised that you do not travel.

talkalot Wed 22-Jul-09 13:08:08

I am in the UK--was due to fly out in two weeks. I am seven weeks pregnant. My concern is that I'm being told by my Doctor here that I run a higher risk of catching swine flu by being in crowded places and by travelling. I am being told that pregnancy suppresses your immune system, making you even more susceptible to the H1N1 and more likely to get the severe version of it. Yet despite all this information, I cannot get anyone to officially say that there advice is for me not to take the risk of harming my baby...instead, it'a all about 'my personal choice'. In Australia, this information is different. Well, I have decided not to go. My doctor in Australia is hopefully sending me a letter shortly, officially advising me that it is not worth the risk to my child, to travel to Australia while pregnant during the current H1N1 situation. This might hold some sway with my insurance company. My brother is also sending me a brochure they have in Australia advising women that in their first and second trimester they are at a very high risk of H1N1. Whilst I could potentially lose nearly a thousand pounds in airfares, it is not worth the risk of a miscarriage.

talkalot Wed 22-Jul-09 13:10:55

PS my doctor here in the UK (who is actually pretty good) says she can't write me a letter advising me not to travel unless the government produces an advisory to that effect. I don't think she would write a letter saying I have a different ailment to help me out of this

belgo Wed 22-Jul-09 13:15:58

So you will traveling long haul at 9 weeks - I thought that was advised NOT to travel long haul in the first trimester, due to risk of miscarriage?

Thandeka Wed 22-Jul-09 13:16:16

Possibly the strain in aus is slightly different as it certainly seems to be hitting pregnant women harder over there than here?

My best friend caught bad flu at 14 weeks and was ill for 2 weeks and miscarried at 16 weeks- she is convinced it was the flu.

You have to make a decision you are most happy with. Its a really tough one.

belgo Wed 22-Jul-09 13:17:55

(I don't mean that long haul travel causes miscarraige btw)

Thandeka Wed 22-Jul-09 13:21:03

To add to Belgo's point- my first pregnancy ended in MMC at 10 weeks the day I got back from Thailand. I had a good scan just before I went and the size of the emby was 3.4mm with heartbeat three weeks later was 4mm with no heartbeat and working it out I genuinely think it stopped growing the day I flew out to Thailand when I was 7weeks +0. But I guess you can never know one way or the other.

LeninGrad Wed 22-Jul-09 13:24:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

belgo Wed 22-Jul-09 13:25:54

talkalot -
you say 'I don't think she would write a letter saying I have a different ailment to help me out of this '

But this is not a situation of your creating. The advice regarding swine flu and pregnancy is contradictory at best and terrifying at worst. They are recommending you don't fly but at the same time telling you it's your choice so your insurance doesn't cover it. On the one hand your main concern is your health and the health of your unborn baby and on the other hand you have a couple of thousand pounds that you stand to lose. I think I know what I would do....

Thandeka Wed 22-Jul-09 13:26:56

course- and its there winter too.

We have people coming to stay with us from Aus next week- gulp! They are under strict instructions to not breathe in the house

Thandeka Wed 22-Jul-09 13:29:05

My doctor put "gynecological condition" on my sick notes for 4 weeks in my early pregnancy this time round as they thought i might lose it again (i havent and almost 12 weeks now so touch wood!) and i couldn't bear to tell work about it, but perhaps your doc could be persuaded to put something like that?

Thandeka Wed 22-Jul-09 13:39:00

Having a bit of a google: http://health.asiaone.com/Health/News/Story/A1Story20090721-156167.html

Now it seems they are making this link based on one pregnant lady in whole of aus losing her baby (which is obviously is tragic- I couldn't see how far along she was)- now we know lots of pregnant women have ended up in intensive care but if they are making this link based on one case I think thats a bit much. Also it says she's from an isolated aboriginal community- now I am going to say this very carefully but it may be possible her immune system struggled because of the well known massive health inequalities with indigenous groups (and also the isolation means immune system more specific to her small population). Not sure why that would lead her to miscarry but trying to make sense of it.

dikkertjedap Wed 22-Jul-09 16:56:20

Maybe you can see a private doctor? Sometimes they are more helpful. There will be some in Great Portland street, Portland Hospital, big London stations have those private walk in clinics (Victoria, Paddington, etc.). Otherwise, I would tell your doc that you have a bad bout of gastroentritis (clearly can't fly with that) - have to say this about a day before you are about to leave obviously. Not ideal, but they don't seem to be treating you very fairly.

FioFio Wed 22-Jul-09 16:58:22

Message withdrawn

talkalot Wed 09-Sep-09 15:09:31

Thanks to everyone for your input. I decided not to go to Australia for my Brother's wedding after all. The UK doctor couldn't help me, but my family doctor in Oz sent me a letter advising me not to travel. I contacted the airline (Thai Airways)and explained the problem and they refunded me all but 100GBP of the ticket price. I have now had my 12 week scan and have a very healthy, active baby who is due on 17 march 2010. I feel it was the right decision to make. My family in Oz was very understanding, of course, which helped.

I guess it's so hard, particularly in the early stages of a pregnancy to make such 'big calls' as that, especially with conflicting information, when being pregnant is so new that you can't quite believe it is true. I have now turned into a 'protective mother' even though I'm 'only' pregnant and haven't given birth yet.

The rest of the pregnancy is going well so far, so I have had no reason to get paranoid, but I am taking steps to ensure that every action I take at the least 'does no harm'to baby
and at the best, is good for baby.

Thanks again for all your support...hopefully will get through this winter without catching it either.

ninedragons Wed 09-Sep-09 15:22:14

don't fret about being a wee bit paranoid - it's a normal healthy reaction.

I went to Laos when I was about five weeks' pregnant and was quietly worried the whole time. Everyone I knew who'd been had ended up with food poisoning (unreliable electricity supply = patchy refrigeration). Was absolutely fine, of course.

wishingchair Mon 14-Sep-09 10:55:48

Nothing wrong with being cautious and protective. I was 15 weeks pg when I travelled to the US - scans had been ok, heard baby's heartbeat etc. I picked up a virus when over there and felt very shivery and generally poorly. I discovered the baby had died at 19 week midwife appointment - baby had died at about 15-16 weeks. Could have been coincidence but when I got pg again, I didn't fly anywhere!!

It's all about acceptable risk and we all have different levels of that. Good luck with rest of the pregnancy smile

Vale Wed 16-Sep-09 15:36:47

Better safe than sorry!

However I have travelled by plain while 6 months pregnant and I didn't have any problem, but I was lucky because didn't get any virus!

The doctor advised me not to travel, because during two hours fly anything could happen.

Than was 3 years ago, probably I wouldn't do it again especially with all those flu etc..

I got question I haven't received answer. In October Italy will be out the new vaccine for the swine flu, but the Italian version of the vaccine seems to contain a compound called MF59 (squalene), which is naturally contained on our brain and nervous system and also on the olive oil and it is good for you for its antioxidant effects.

However if MF59 is injected into our body can cause your hymune system to overreact and attack the nervous system and trigger quite serious illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis.

Apparently the USA version of the vaccine doesn't contain MF59. Anyone knows anything about it?

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