The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County urges pregnant women to receive the flu vaccination due to the increased impact that influenza infections are having on pregnant women and their babies in Florida this year.
"The flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent flu," said Dr. Claude M. Dharamraj, Pinellas' County Health Department director. "We want to make sure people understand how important it is for pregnant women to receive the influenza vaccination to protect themselves and their babies."
DOH-Pinellas 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 flu vaccination is safe and will protect the mother, the unborn child, and will also help protect babies during the first months after birth.
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 www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/pregnant.htm