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Pregnancy & H1N1 Facts for Healthcare Workers


June 5, 2013- DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital’s Dr. Jack Belen Named

   
DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, one of nine hospitals and institutes operated by the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), is pleased to announce the hospital’s Dr. Jack Belen has been named Director of Osteopathic Medical Education for the DMC system.

In his new role, Dr. Belen will oversee all of the osteopathic training programs at the DMC system-wide. He will also be working with the DMC’s Graduate Medical Education Department on curriculums involving principals of holistic, preventative medicine.

“It is an honor to take on a more prominent role in the development of the next generation of DMC clinicians, particularly those studying osteopathic medicine,” said Dr. Belen. “I am looking forward to expanding the DMC’s role with partnering medical schools and students pursuing professions as primary care physicians. The future of health care is well-rounded, prevention-based care, and the DMC is focused on expert care not only in our hospitals, but before our patients get to the hospital.”

Dr. Belen graduated from Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. Board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Medicine, and Sleep Medicine, Dr. Belen has been on staff at DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital since 1986. Prior to his new appointment, he served as the Director of Medical Education, as well as the Internal Medicine Residency Program Director at DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital.

In practice since 1977, Dr. Belen completed his Internal Medicine residency at Botsford General Hospital and his Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Michigan. He is currently a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Michigan State University and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Wayne State University School of Medicine.


WHAT IS H1N1 INFLUENZA?
H1N1 influenza is a respiratory disease that is caused by a type A influenza virus. The current H1N1 virus contains unique genes from pig and human influenza viruses and hence is called the “Novel H1N1 Influenza Virus”. This strain of flu germ spreads from human to human and can cause illness.



Does H1N1 INFLUENZA pose special risks for pregnant women?
Pregnant women are at an increased risk of catching H1N1 or seasonal flu. Pregnant patients with H1N1 infection have an increased risk of complications. Although influenza viruses do not infect the baby while in the uterus, the high fever and any complications caused by the flu can potentially be harmful to the baby.



WHAT PRECAUTIONS CAN I TAKE TO PROTECT MYSELF AND MY UNBORN BABY?
The best way to protect yourself and your unborn baby is to have a vaccination (which is safe during pregnancy). You should also make sure you follow good hygiene practices including:

 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Alcohol-based gel hand cleaners are also good to use.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Talk to your doctor about your concerns.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF H1N1 INFLUENZA?
The symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and may include acute onset of:

  • Fever (greater than 100 F or 37.8 C)
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1 flu.


WILL THE SYMPTOMS BE THE SAME IF I AM PREGNANT?
Yes, the symptoms of flu will be the same as in women who are not pregnant.




WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I GET SICK?
If you get sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home, limit contact with others, and call your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Treat any fever right away. Tylenol® (acetaminophen) is the best treatment of fever in pregnancy.
  • Get plenty of rest and drink clear fluids.
  • Your doctor may test you for flu or will decide if you need medications to treat the flu.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash and cleanse your hands.
  • Clean hands often with soap and water or alcohol- based hand rub.
  • Do not go to work, school, or other public places while you are ill.
  • Avoid close contact with other people.
  • Get emergency medical care right away if you have trouble breathing, chest pain, purple or blue lips or skin, severe vomiting and are dehydrated and/or dizzy, unresponsive or confused.


IS IT OK TO BREAST FEED MY BABY IF I AM SICK?

  • Do not stop breastfeeding if you are ill. This will help protect your baby from infection.
  • Be careful not to cough or sneeze in the baby’s face, wash your hands often.
  • Your doctor might ask you to wear a mask to keep from spreading this new virus to your baby.
  • If you are too sick to breastfeed, pump and have someone give the expressed milk to your baby.


IS THERE A VACCINE FOR H1N1 INFLUENZA?
Yes, an H1N1 virus vaccine is expected to be available in mid- to late October 2009. The CDC recommends this vaccine for pregnant women when it first becomes available. This vaccine has been tested in pregnant women and found to be safe and effective.


REMEMBER: The seasonal flu vaccine is not expected to protect against the H1N1 flu, therefore individuals are encouraged to get both types of vaccines.

 

 

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