Recent research has found that those babies, whose mothers had the flu while pregnant, are more likely to have schizophrenia later in life.
It was explained thus by Temple University psychologist Lauren Ellman – when a woman catches flu when pregnant, she produces certain immune proteins in response to the flu, and this raises the exposure of the unborn baby to those proteins, consequently raising risk of certain abnormalities of the brain, which could lead to schizophrenia.
This is not to say that all women who had the flu when pregnant had schizophrenic babies, but the risk is seen to rise.
Earlier this link between flu infection and schizophrenia was not fully understood, because for the most part, infections do not cross over from the placenta to the baby. Now it is understood that it isn’t the infection, but rather the maternal reaction to it that has the negative impact on the fetal brain.
So this is one more reason for pregnant women to practice good hygiene that is frequent hand washing, keeping away from infected people and practicing proper immunization protocols.