A new report shows that influenza during pregnancy may increase the risk of autism in children.
Researchers in Denmark found women who had the flu while they were pregnant were twice as likely to have a child later diagnosed with autism.
The study goes on to say women who had a fever lasting a week or longer were three times as likely to have an autistic child.
Health officials have long said pregnant women need to make sure they get a flu shot.
If nothing else, Dr. William Schaffner at Vanderbilt University Medical Center says the new study reinforces that.
“If a pregnant woman needed another reason to get the influenza vaccine, this was certainly it,” said Dr. Schaffner.
U.S. health officials are stressing that the study is exploratory and does not offer a specific cause for autism.