Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Monday, 20 July 2009 17:10 UK

Pregnant woman in swine flu scare

Pregnant woman
Pregnant women are advised to continue with their normal daily routine

A pregnant woman is in hospital in Ayrshire thought to be suffering from swine flu, BBC Scotland understands.

The woman is being treated in the high dependency unit at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has been trying to clear up confusion over the impact of the H1N1 virus on expectant mothers.

She said the vast majority of pregnant women with the virus would recover without any complications.

It followed conflicting advice issued by the Department of Health for England over the weekend.

The NHS UK website had suggested expectant mothers should avoid crowds where possible, but later an official statement said it was important to carry on with daily routine..

Our advice remains to be vigilant, go about your normal business, but crucially follow the hygiene advice that has been issued.
Nicola Sturgeon MSP
Health Secretary

Ms Sturgeon said: "The message is quite clear. For pregnant women, the risk of complications is a bit higher than it is for the general population but that is the risk with any flu, and the risk is still very low. "The vast majority of pregnant women who contract swine flu with have mild symptoms and recover fully without any complications.

She added: "There is no reason for people to be unduly alarmed."

"Our advice remains to be vigilant, go about your normal business, but crucially follow the hygiene advice that has been issued.

"Follow good hand hygiene practice, do not cough and sneeze over others and contact your GP or NHS 24 if you have any concerns."

Gillian Smith, director of the Royal College of Midwives in Scotland, said: "I think the symptoms of swine flu for most people are very mild. It is no more dangerous than the ordinary winter flu.

"You can't alter you daily life or stay home and wrap yourself in cotton wool just on the off chance that you might get it."

A total of 29 people have now died in the UK after contracting swine flu - three in Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon has called on the UK government to make extra funds available for swine flu vaccinations.

She warned that cuts could have to be made if the vaccination programme had to be funded from the Scottish budget.

Opposition parties said that health budgets were a devolved matter and the Scottish Government should meet the cost of a vaccine.



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