According to statistics from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 88 children born in America are diagnosed with some form of Autism, a complex developmental disorder that affects an individual's ability to communicate and interact socially with others.
So far, researchers are unclear on the exact cause of the disorder, but many risk factors have been identified. Most recently, Danish scientists teamed up with the CDC to review the cases of 97,000 danish children and discovered an interesting correlation. According to ABC News, women who got the flu while pregnant were nearly twice as likely to give birth to children with autism than females who didn't catch the virus.
The source states that the scientists did not conduct the study with the intention of gauging the relationship between influenza and autism. The analysts reportedly issued out surveys that required the mothers of the 97,000 children in question to detail various medical issues they experienced while pregnant, including whether they had high temperatures or ever took antibiotics. Based on the responses, the researchers found that a significant number of mothers with autistic children in the study – who made up 1 percent of the total – had the flu while carrying.
However, the study authors were quick to point out that this is merely a case of correlation, not necessarily cause and effect.
"While it is very important to get an influenza shot during pregnancy," said ABC News medical editor Dr. Richard Besser, "women who get the flu this winter should not worry that they have put their child at an increased risk of developing autism."
Though there is a wide range of medications and therapeutic treatments intended to ease its symptoms, no cure has been found for this affliction. Some people have had a degree of success using hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy for autism, although Longevity Centres of America also offers HBOT to remove harmful toxins.