Study Finds Link Between Pregnancy, Flu And Autism

November 12, 2012 Updated Nov 12, 2012 at 9:49 PM EDT

By WKBW Programming

...
November 12, 2012 Updated Nov 12, 2012 at 9:49 PM EDT

(WKBW/ABC News) Cases of autism are growing. It's estimated to affect 1 out of every 88 children born in the United States.

Now, a new study shows women having a fever or the flu for a week during pregnancy may increase their chances of having a child born with the disorder.

The study by researchers in Denmark and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that mothers who reported having the flu during their pregnancy were two times more likely to have a child with autism.

It also found that moms whose fever lasted for a week or more before their third trimester were three times more likely to have a child on the autism spectrum.

While the study does not suggest that high fever -- or flu -- causes autism, many experts say it reinforces recommendations that all pregnant women should get the flu shot.

Overall, experts say moms shouldn't worry because even if they do get the flu while pregnant, the risk of your baby being autistic is still less than two percent.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.