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Researchers analysed self-reported data collected during phone interviews with mothers of 538 children with autism spectrum disorders, 163 with developmental delays, and 421 controls.

Influenza did not affect risk of either outcome, but maternal fever was associated with 2.12 times the risk of autism spectrum disorders and 2.5 times the risk of delayed development.

Taking anti-pyretic medication to control the fever reduced the risk of autism spectrum disorders, but not developmental delays.

Co-author Professor Irva Hertz-Picciotto said the impact of inflammation on brain development deserved more

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