Special effort should also be made to vaccinate pregnant women, those considering pregnancy, women who have just given birth, and women breastfeeding against the flu, as recommended by new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
In a press release, Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, co-author of AAP's policy statement and a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital in the U.S., said, “Pregnant women can help protect themselves and their unborn children by getting the vaccine.” Getting the shot during pregnancy also protects the infant from the flu during his first 6 months of life. Children 6 months old and older should receive the flu vaccine every year.
“Because the flu virus is common and unpredictable, it can cause serious complications even in healthy children,” Dr. Swanson added.
Published in the journal Pediatrics, the statement points out the flu shot remains the best available means of preventing the flu (short for influenza). Preterm infants 6 months and older, and children with chronic medical conditions (like asthma, diabetes, and neurologic and developmental disorders) should receive the vaccine, said the researchers. Their conditions increase the risk of complications from influenza.
According to data from the Field Health Services Information System (FHSIS) of the Department of Health (DOH), acute lower respiratory tract infections, like influenza, pneumonia and bronchitis, rank as the second leading cause of morbidity among Filipinos in 2013.
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The flu or trangkaso is not the same as the common cold or sipon. They do have similar symptoms that can include a runny nose, sore throat and cough. But, people who have the flu can also have a fever, headache and muscle soreness. It’s important to know the difference as the flu has more severe symptoms, lasts longer, and can lead to serious complications like pneumonia.