Study: Flu during pregnancy linked to autism

November 12, 2012 10:23:46 AM PST
A new health study out this morning links flu during pregnancy to autism. The study by researchers in Denmark and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at nearly 97,000 children ages 8 to 14.

They found mothers who reported having a fever or the flu for a week during pregnancy -- were at least twice as likely to have a child with autism.

ABC's Dr. Richard Besser breaks down this new research.

"Here's what they found: if a mother reported having flu during pregnancy her risk of having a child with autism increased from 1 to 2 percent -- if she reported having fever for seven days -- the risk went from 1 to 3 percent so while it's doubling or tripling -- it's still very small," said Dr. Besser.

Dr. Besser says the correlation reinforces recommendations that all pregnant women should get the flu shot.