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Houston Mother Who Nearly Lost Her Daughter to Influenza Joins American Lung Association's Faces of Influenza Campaign to Promote Annual Vaccination
Date:12/8/2008

American Lung Association Supports National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 8-14); Urges Immunization Throughout the Winter and Spring

HOUSTON, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Local mother Daina Maxwell has joined the American Lung Association of the Central States to bring Faces of Influenza, a national educational campaign, to the Houston area. Maxwell's 8-year-old daughter Dez'Arae contracted influenza in March 2007, and was diagnosed with encephalitis as a result of the disease.

"I never knew how serious influenza was until Dez'Arae got it," said Maxwell. "My baby and I get our flu shot every year now."

Daina's 8-year-old daughter Dez'Arae was diagnosed with influenza in March 2007 - a time when most people are looking forward to the warm summer weather, not getting sick. Dez'Arae had to be rushed to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with encephalitis, swelling of the brain that can be caused by influenza. Dez'Arae was hospitalized for several weeks and had to relearn basic skills, including how to walk.

The American Lung Association's Faces of Influenza program is a multiyear public awareness initiative to help Americans put a "face" on this serious disease and recognize annual influenza immunization as an important preventive measure to protect themselves and their loved ones every year.

"I wouldn't want any mother to go through what I went through, so I've joined the program to let other families know how important it is to get an annual vaccination," said Maxwell.

Health experts recommend annual influenza vaccination for nearly 250 million people in the U.S. Despite this recommendation, influenza immunization rates fall far short every year. Locally, between 97,681 and 390,726 Houston area residents will suffer from influenza in an average year.

Maxwell urges Houston area residents to see themselv
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SOURCE The American Lung Association
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