New Study Claims Fever Now Causes Autism
The debate over what causes autism is heating up, once again, and this time a bit more literally. A new study claims that fevers during pregnancy, with particular emphasis on the second trimester, might be responsible for causing autism.
The researchers claim their findings indicated that mothers who came down with a fever during the second trimester were 40% more likely to have a child with autism. And when mothers had multiple cases of fever, that number rose.
One expert says this study is unfounded.
“The reason for the association could relate to a specific infection, immune responses, or even how the fever is treated,” Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, co-director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Alberta who was not involved in the study, told Fatherly. “It is even conceivable that a tendency to seek medical attention for concerns regarding early behavioral concerns may be associated with greater reporting of fever symptoms during pregnancy.”
The autism cause debate is one that’s hotly contested. Many people believe strongly that vaccine safety should be at the forefront of such studies, but the CDC and pharmaceutical companies (and the mainstream media) have consistently pushed back, claiming the science behind vaccine safety to be “settled.” And it leads many to feel slighted that new studies are consistently ongoing, but clearly without regard to the vaccine safety issue.
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Mady Hornig, the coauthor on the fever study from Columbia University, called the study less than convincing herself and even went as far as to call autism “rare.” Autism cases are rising at an astounding rate; I’m not sure describing the condition as “rare” does the situation any true justice.
95,754 children born between 1999 and 2009 were followed by Hornig’s team. 16% of those mothers suffered a fever during pregnancy. The mothers with fevers were 34% more likely to birth a child with autism, at least, according to the study. Women who took Tylenol for their fevers didn’t lower the autism risk.
This study, overall, sounds incredibly unconvincing and bordering on totally irresponsible. There was a study years ago suggesting that pregnant women who came down with the flu were at higher risk to have a baby with autism. And of course, the solution was giving flu shots to pregnant women. There is always something in it for pharma.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.