New Potential Autism Cause Surfaces: Fevers During Pregnancy Linked To Autism

Potential causes for autism seem to creep up all of the time. While some tend to be more farfetched than others, the latest supports the medical belief that a combination of genetics and environmental factors influence the development of autism long before a child is born.

Fevers during pregnancy

According to The Washington Post, fevers during pregnancy have recently been linked to a high risk of children developing autism. It was on Tuesday that researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health reported a fever during pregnancy – and especially during the second trimester – put a child at a much greater risk of being autistic. The research goes on to reveal that women who experience more than three fevers after the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy are linked to a very high risk of having an autistic child.

The researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health reveal any time a pregnant woman's immune system is triggered to respond to an illness or infection – such as through a fever – it can disrupt the brain development of the fetus. This, in turn, can result in the development of autism long before the baby is born.

Some blame vaccines

The Washington Post proceeded to acknowledge the fact that a lot of individuals blame vaccinations for causing autism. This is because a lot of family members believe their children did not start developing autism until after receiving vaccinations.

Child wearing an autism bracelet while holding parent's hand
Could fevers during pregnancy be linked to autism? [Image By Zahraa Saleh/ShutterStock]

This connection has never been proven and the timing is merely coincidence. Typically, autism symptoms are a little unclear until a child is around the age of two. This is around the time where parents will usually start to notice their child's struggle with speech and social interactions. The reason the timing is a coincidence is because this is the same age where a child is due for a few different vaccines.

The theory that several fevers during pregnancy could cause the development of autism just further supports the belief that the development of autism is influenced by both environmental and genetic factors long before the baby is born or starts to develop symptoms. Basically, this means it supports the theory that autistic children are born with autism. In fact, this theory is also supported by other research such as vitamin D deficiency or the father's age when when the child was conceived being linked to an increased risk of autism development.

Close-up of a person holding an autism ribbon in their hand
[Image by Chinnapong/ShutterStock]

Truthfully, medical experts may never pinpoint exactly what causes autism as it is a spectrum disorder that effects all different people in all different ways. This link between fevers during pregnancy and autism, however, could help pregnant women to take more aggressive measures to treat a fever in order to protect their fetus.

What are your thoughts on fevers during pregnancy being linked to an increased risk of developing autism?

[Featured Image By Syda Productions/ShutterStock]