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Influenza, a New Mom, and a Neonate

Influenza, a New Mom, and a Neonate

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It is the middle of flu season when you get a call from one of the local obstetricians. He tells you he just delivered a baby who will be coming to your practice, but needs to ask you about something that he has not come across before. This does not bode well since you’re already behind schedule. He tells you that the mother arrived at the hospital with about 24 hours of fever, congestion, and malaise. A rapid flu test was positive. Mom had refused a flu vaccine during her pregnancy, not wanting to “expose her fetus to any foreign substances.” The OB tells you he would like to start mom on Tamiflu--but the mother is anxious to start breast feeding. The OB asks you if it is safe for her to breast feed and asks your opinion on a mask for mom.   

A pregnant pause ensues while you plumb the depths of your memory since this is not something you have ever come across before either. You tell the obstetrician that you will call him back in 5 minutes after you do a little research.

1. What does the CDC recommend in this situation?

A. Separate the ill mom from the baby. Use pumped milk if appropriate.

B. Mom needs to wear a mask and use careful hand washing.

C. The baby can stay in mom’s room but should be kept 6 feet away from the sick mother.

D. Both B and C are correct.

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