For Hometown News
The Florida Department of Health reminds pregnant women, and those looking to become pregnant, that the 2013-14 flu season is underway and to make sure they get vaccinated against influenza.
The department recommends that all individuals six months of age and older receive the flu vaccination each year. It is especially important for pregnant women to be vaccinated due to the increased risk of complications associated with contracting the flu while pregnant. The department has received several reports of pregnant women with influenza-like illness from around the state, including one confirmed death and four severe cases in which women have been admitted into critical care units. The flu vaccination is safe and will protect the mother, the unborn child, and will also help protect babies during the first months after birth.
Pregnant women should also be reminded to get immunized by a flu shot injection. Standard dose nasal spray vaccines, while effective for people ages two through 49, are not recommended for use by pregnant women.
Additional flu prevention steps include washing your hands often, keeping your hands away from your face and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing and coughing. Symptoms of the flu include headache, fever, severe cough, runny nose or body aches. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your primary care provider immediately for guidance on treatment. For more information on pregnant women and influenza, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/pregnant.htm
Check with your physician, your local county health department or visit floridahealth.gov/prevention-safety-and-wellness/flu-prevention/locate-a-flu-shot.html to search for a location to receive a flu vaccine.