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NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – The number of people going to see the doctor for flu-like illness is increasing to the highest activity since the H1N1 flu pandemic nearly 10 years ago, according to government health officials.

A California family is grieving after a pregnant woman caught the flu and ended up losing her baby.

Diana Barron Gonzalez said her best friend, Maria Paniagua, was seven months pregnant when she got sick.

“It was so, so severe that they couldn’t do a Cesarean,” she said. “If they would have operated on her with the Cesarean, they could have lost the mother or the baby or both.”

Paniagua, a mother of four, survived.

At least 37 children have been killed by the flu this season. Daniel Jernigan is the director of the Centers for Disease Control’s influenza division.

“We’ve seen kids are really making up the predominant amount of influenza-like illness. And they’re taking that back to school, it’s getting transmitted there, and I think that’s really what’s driving a lot of the visits to the outpatient clinics right now,” he said.

Schools across the country are racing to contain the virus.

Everyone is urged to get a flu shot and pregnant women are no exception to the rule. The CDC said it’s not only safe for expecting mothers but can also help protect infants from the virus for several months after they are born.

While flu activity is increasing in the Northeast, the CDC says activity is decreasing in some West Coast states.


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