Influenza is on the rise in northeast Ohio, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health said Thursday.
CLEVELAND - Experts say though pregnant women are the most vulnerable for catching the flu, there's no need to panic thanks to several ways to protect against the virus.
Pregnant women are urged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get a flu shot. The CDC says it's been shown to protect both mom and baby (up to 6 months old) from flu. The nasal spray, FluMist, should not be given to women who are pregnant.
Those without insurance can get a reduced fee flu shot at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.
Flu shots have not been shown to cause harm to pregnant women or their babies. It is very important for pregnant women to get the flu shot, the CDC reports.
Expectant mothers should stay away from anyone who is sick. Pregnant women are at increased risk to catch any contagious illness, whether flu or not, according to experts.
Practicing good hygiene, and encouraging those around you to do the same, is another way to protect yourself from becoming ill. Sanitize after sneezing, anti-bacterialize your work station, including keyboard, mouse, TV remote and phone. You should also sanitize your cellphone, refrigerator handles and microwave door handle.
Pregnant mothers should call the doctor right away if you experience any flu-like symptoms. That includes severe and persistent nausea, chest pains, and especially a high fever.
Fevers caused by the flu or other infections could lead to birth defects, according to the CDC.
For more information about pregnant women and the flu: http://5.wews.com/gGirR
NewsChannel5's Lee Jordan spoke with a doctor about how this flu season is particularly active. See the video for the interview.
Supervisor of Clinical Services at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health Cindy Modie and the staff there are gearing up for an impending flu immunization season.
Residents in Lorain County can head to the fairgrounds Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a flu vaccine. The flu shot costs $15. For non-residents, it costs $20.
The American Academy of Pediatrics urged parents Monday to vaccinate children against the flu as soon as possible.
The number of Ohioans hospitalized with the flu since last September jumped dramatically over the previous year, but health officials say there isn't an easy explanation for the increase.
The flu season is winding down, and it has killed 105 children so far -- about the average toll.
You never want to sit next to that guy during flu season.
It turns out this year's flu shot is doing a startlingly dismal job of protecting senior citizens, the most vulnerable age group.
The number of states reporting intense or widespread flu dropped again last week, U.S. health officials said Friday.