A recent published study on children with autism is getting a lot of press this week. It was published in the journal Pediatrics. The authors reported that Danish women who had the flu were twice as likely to have a child with autism. Mothers who ran a fever for more than a week during pregnancy were 3 times more likely to have a child diagnosed with autism. The study also found a small increased risk of autism for certain antibiotic use during pregnancy. The study by researchers in Denmark and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control examined the mothers of approximately 97,000 Danish children born between 1997-2003, only 1 percent of which were diagnosed with autism. Authors report that the study is exploratory and not suggestive of any clinical implications. Further, they report that the study shows that 99% of mothers in the study who had flu, fever or took antibiotics during pregnancy did not deliver children with autism; however, this may be one small piece to the large and complex puzzle that is the unknown cause and increased incidence of autism.
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