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The American Lung Association of Ohio Encourages Cleveland Residents to See Themselves Among The Many 'Faces' of Influenza
Date:12/8/2008

Local Community Leaders Join the Faces of Influenza Campaign to Promote Annual Vaccination

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

CLEVELAND, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 23,000 and 95,000 Cleveland area residents will suffer from influenza in an average year.

Many community leaders, including the Cleveland Department of Health, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, MetroHealth and Project Hope, are partnering with the American Lung Association of Ohio's Faces of Influenza campaign, a national educational campaign designed to help Americans see themselves and their loved ones among the many "faces" of influenza - target groups recommended for vaccination.

They are also joined by Cleveland's "face" of influenza Rick Cerett, who lost his grandson to influenza and is now dedicated to preventing similar tragedies among other families.

"I lost my grandson Marques to complications from influenza. He was just shy of his 6-month birthday - the earliest a child can be vaccinated against influenza," said Cerett. "I now am a crusader for yearly influenza vaccinations for parents, caretakers and children. Today, every adult and child in my family gets their flu shot."

Influenza, along with its complications, is a serious respiratory illness. On average, 36,000 Americans die and about 226,000 people are hospitalized in the U.S. every year. Vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent influenza and its complications.

"Despite serious health risks associated with influenza, many people, inc
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SOURCE The American Lung Association
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