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CDC: 28 pregnant women dead from H1N1

ATLANTA, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- H1N1 flu has killed 28 pregnant women and sent 100 to intensive-care units in the United States since late August, health officials said Thursday.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urged pregnant women to get the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine, which becomes available next week.

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"I just want to remind women and doctors and nurse midwives that antiviral medicine can be a very important treatment for pregnant women who have respiratory illness," Schuchat said at a briefing.

The CDC has not tracked seasonal flu complications in pregnancy in the past, she said.

"But," she added, "what we are seeing is quite striking."

Schuchat said Friday's CDC weekly update would show substantial H1N1 flu illness in most of the country.

Across Florida, health officials reported 11 H1N1 deaths were confirmed over the past week and 102 overall since the virus first appeared last April, the (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union reported.

H1N1 flu claimed the life of a 14-year-old girl in Maryland -- the state's first young casualty from who had no underlying problems, The Baltimore Sun reported.

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People with flu-like symptoms, the very old and very young, as well as those with asthma, diabetes or immunosuppression should get anti-viral medications, Schuchat said.

She said people, particular parents, should be on the lookout for warning signs including fast breathing or difficulty breathing, trouble taking fluids, difficulty being awakened or a gray or bluish tint in a child's color.

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