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Flu Claims Life of Pregnant Mom, Unborn Child in South Bay

Their deaths bring the number of people in Los Angeles County who have died of the flu to 52 this season.

The beginning stages of an influenza infection. Image courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The beginning stages of an influenza infection. Image courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A pregnant woman in the South Bay area died from flu-related illness, along with her unborn baby, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced today.

A spokesman for the department declined to identify in which town the flu victim lived or how far along she was in her pregnancy.

A total of 52 people in the county have died from the flu during the current flu season, officials said.

“This sad event demonstrates that serious complications can occur with flu infection in pregnant women,” according to Jonathan Fielding, director of the Public Health department. “Therefore, it is critical that all pregnant and postpartum women get vaccinated to protect themselves against the flu.

 “We recommend that everyone, six months of age and older, receive either the influenza shot or the nasal spray vaccine and to practice basic hygiene, such as hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes, to prevent the spread of influenza and other respiratory diseases,” he said.

While health officials recommended that everyone be vaccinated, they especially urged vaccinations for pregnant women, people younger than 5 and older than 50, people with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes and people who work or live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities.

Information on where flu vaccines are available can be found online at www.ph.lacounty.gov/ip/flu/flulocatormain.htm or by calling the 2-1-1 county information line.

--City News Service

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