Pregnant Plymouth woman hospitalised with flu after catching Covid

  • Watch Christine discuss her experience contracting both Covid and the flu

A pregnant teacher from Plymouth who was hospitalised after contracting both Covid and the flu within weeks of each other has urged other expectant mothers to get vaccinated.

While pregnant with her second child in September last year, Christine and her partner tested positive for Covid-19 shortly before they were due to receive their booster vaccinations.

“I’d had my first Covid vaccination back in January and the second in April when I was about two or three weeks pregnant,” the mum-of-two said.

She said because she was double-vaccinated her Covid symptoms were not too severe - but she was still concerned about the effect the illness could have on her unborn child.

“It was a real worry, especially being pregnant, not knowing how it could or would impact the baby", she said.

"Thankfully though everything is fine with my pregnancy, and I’m so incredibly glad to have had the vaccinations I did, as it no doubt gave both myself and my baby some protection against getting really ill and gave us the best possible chances for recovery.”

Shortly after her Covid isolation period ended, Christine contracted the flu virus.

The mum-of-two has now made a full recovery. Credit: University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

Her health deteriorated rapidly and she had to be taken to Derriford Hospital due to severe dehydration.

She said: “It was really horrible. I couldn’t keep anything down – fluids or food.

"My baby wasn’t getting the reserves it needed and the midwives became very concerned.

"It was all a bit scary, especially when there were no foetal movements for 24 hours and my temperature wasn’t coming down."

Christine has now made a full recovery and her baby is healthy, however she wants to send a message to other people encouraging them to get both flu and coronavirus vaccinations.

After Christine contracted the flu she was taken to Derriford Hospital. Credit: BPM Media

“I certainly never want to experience that again", she said.

"I had to take an extra week off work to simply recover from the tiredness and complete lack of energy, even after the other symptoms had subsided, and it’s taken me nearly four weeks to regain the weight I lost after being so poorly.”

Christine caught the flu despite having had the flu jab at her GP practice a few weeks before, but she believes she would have been even more unwell without it.

“I used to think that being young and fit meant that the flu wouldn’t really impact me, but I’ve honestly never felt so ill in my life.

"I’m just so glad to have had the vaccine in time, as it hopefully helped to make my symptoms less serious than if I hadn’t had it at all."

She wants to urge everyone, especially pregnant people, to take up all vaccinations they are eligible for.

"It makes sense to take anything and everything you are offered to protect both you and your baby", she said.

"They wouldn’t be offered if they weren’t safe for both of you, and it can only help to reduce the impact of any of the illnesses.”

A spokesperson from University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust said the vast majority of pregnant women who had been admitted to hospital with severe Covid symptoms are unvaccinated.

They added vaccination clinics are also available within the maternity department at Derriford Hospital to make it as convenient as possible for pregnant people to be jabbed.

Further information about vaccinations in pregnancy can be found here.

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