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College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists Advises Pregnant Women to be Alert but not Alarmed about Swine Flu

17 July 2010

For Immediate Release 

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) has today officially released a statement on swine flu for all pregnant women and has advised them to be alert to the possibility of infection and seek appropriate medical help if they have concerns about themselves or the health of their pregnancy.

The College statement, available on the RANZCOG website: icon 17 July 2009 Swine Flu and Pregnancy Statement (163.41 kB), emphasises that basic personal hygiene measures are the most important strategies in the prevention of H1N1 influenza in pregnancy, suggesting that simple hand washing and covering the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing and hygienic disposal of tissues are all simple but effective measures.

'Pregnant women are an at-risk group and efforts should be made to avoid those situations where transmission might occur such as in crowded areas or in the workplace', said RANZCOG President Dr Ted Weaver.

'If women are very concerned that they may contract the infection or have other risk factors such as, cigarette smoking, asthma or other chronic diseases, they could take further precautions such as wearing a face mask. This is not essential if the exposure risk is low.

'In an event where a woman does contract swine flu, it is likely that the benefits of anti-viral treatment (e.g. tamiflu) will outweigh any theoretical risks', said Dr Weaver.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) is dedicated to maintaining the highest possible standards in obstetrics and gynaecology in Australia and New Zealand. 

For further information or to arrange an interview with Dr Weaver, please contact:

Julia Serafin
Media & Communications Senior Coordinator
RANZCOG
(w) 03 9412 2961 
(m) 0488 367 476

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