LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A pregnant woman in the South Bay area died from flu- related illness, along with her unborn baby, the Los Angeles County  Department of Public Health announced today.

A total of 52 people in the county have died from the flu during the  current flu season, officials said.

``This sad event demonstrates that serious complications can occur with  flu infection in pregnant women,'' according to Jonathan Fielding, director of  the Public Health department.

``Therefore, it is critical that all pregnant and  postpartum women get vaccinated to protect themselves against the flu.

``We recommend that everyone, six months of age and older, receive  either the influenza shot or the nasal spray vaccine and to practice basic  hygiene, such as hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes, to prevent the  spread of influenza and other respiratory diseases,'' he said.

While health officials recommended that everyone be vaccinated, they  especially urged vaccinations for pregnant women, people younger than 5 and  older than 50, people with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease or  diabetes and people who work or live in nursing homes or long-term care  facilities.

Information on where flu vaccines are available can be found online at www.ph.lacounty.gov/ip/flu/flulocatormain.htm or by calling the 2-1-1 county  information line.