Could fever in pregnancy be linked to autism?

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Getting a fever is typically nothing to be overly concerned about, but new research shows it could be a big concern for mom's to be.

A new study from UC Davis researchers found women who had a fever during pregnancy more than doubled their risk of having a child with autism or a developmental delay.

The findings were based on questionnaires filled out by more than 1,100 mothers.
While autism or a developmental delay was present more in the mothers who had a fever, the study went on to say that taking medications cuts the risk.

Doctor Susan Wilder, with LifeScape Medical Associates, said while this is interesting research, it doesn't mean women need to panic.
 
“When you’re trying to look at what environmental factors may put people at risk of these types of disorders, inflammation is one of the areas you’re going to look at,” Wilder said.

"I think it would be ok for a woman who has a fever to take a Tylenol, do a cool bath, do some cool compression's, something like that until she can get into her provider to get accessed for what the root cause of that fever is,” she continued.
 
Wilder said ways to reduce the risk of inflammation could be as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods and refined sugars.

The study was published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.