Ways pregnant women can protect against the flu virus

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

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