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Preventing flu during pregnancy may lower risk of autism

Published On: Dec 24 2013 11:26:42 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 05 2013 10:23:54 AM CST
pregnant, mother, woman

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By Mayo Clinic News Network

Expectant moms have yet another good reason to get their flu shot. It may lower their new baby’s risk of autism.

"From a public health point of view, this is very exciting news," says Greg Poland, M.D., head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "About 1 in 88 kids or so in the U.S. are getting diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), so this is a major public health issue and the potential benefit is huge."

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says autism has increased tenfold over the past 40 years.