The following maternal infections were not linked to autism risk in their offspring:
- Respiratory infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Genital infections
- Sinus infections
The following infections or conditions during pregnancy were linked a higher autism risk in their baby:
- Influenza (flu) – pregnant mothers who caught the flu had twice the risk of giving birth to a baby who eventually was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder before the age of three years
- Fever – pregnant mothers who said they had a fever that lasted for at least one week had three times the risk of giving birth to a baby who eventually was diagnosed with a autism before the age of 3
- Antibiotic usage – pregnant mothers who took antibiotics had a slightly higher risk of having a baby with autism
The authors emphasized that their findings need to be backed up with a more thoroughly controlled study. Theirs had certain methodologic limitations, they added.
Lead researcher, Hjordis Osk Atladottir, MD, PhD, said that women who catch the flu or have a fever during pregnancy should not be alarmed by these findings. Approximately 98% of those who did catch flu or had a lasting fever gave birth to children with no autism.