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Flu During Pregnancy Does Not Cause Autism, Study Finds

Nov 30, 2016 05:06 AM EST
Contracting influenza during pregnancy does not increase the likelihood of Autism.
(Photo : Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

According to Autism Society, 1 percent of the entire world's population suffers from a form of autism. In the United States of America alone, 3.5 million or one in 68 people live with an autism spectrum disorder. Studies show that the prevalence of this condition has increased by 6 to 15 percent every year since 2002.

Many factors contribute to the development of autism. While no single cause of the condition has been identified, experts agree that autism is a product of abnormalities in the function and structure of the human brain.

Currently, there are several studies geared towards finding possible causes for the disease. This includes the recently published research conducted by experts from the Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. The study aims to discover the link of flu and the development of autism while in the wob.

Ousseny Zerbo and his team observed 196,929 children born between the years 2000 and 2010. Of the 196,929 children, 1,400 were born to mothers who suffered from influenza during their pregnancy. Moreover, 45,231 mothers admitted to receiving vaccination for influenza during their term. Only 1.6 percent of the respondents were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or ASD.

Initially, there was a hypothesis claiming that the risk of ASD greatly increases if the mother receive vaccination for influenza during her first trimester. However, the study, which was published in JAMA Pedriatric Journal, established that there is no significant link between the administration of flu shots and the development of autism.

"We found no association between ASD risk and influenza infection during pregnancy or influenza vaccination during the second to third trimester of pregnancy. However, there was a suggestion of increased ASD risk among children whose mothers received influenza vaccinations early in pregnancy, although the association was insignificant after statistical correction for multiple comparisons" read a part of the study as reported by Science Daily

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