The recent A(H1N1) virus outbreak is a strong reminder that influenza is not the common cold. It's a serious respiratory illness that causes 36,000 deaths and 226,000 hospitalizations each year.
The American Lung Association's Faces of Influenza campaign encourages local residents to see themselves and their loved ones among the many "faces" of influenza - people who fall into one or more target groups recommended for annual vaccination by the CDC.
Immunization Rates Remain Low
Despite recommendations by health experts that more than four out of five Americans should be vaccinated against seasonal influenza annually, fewer than half actually do.
On average, an estimated 98,300 to 393,400 Greater Kansas City Metro area residents will suffer from seasonal influenza, yet immunization rates fall short each year.
Chances Are, We All Know Many "Faces" of Influenza
The Faces of Influenza campaign, which includes expanded awareness initiatives nationally and in many major cities, including Kansas City, supports the CDC's call for Americans to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza this and every year.
Celebrities, health officials and everyday people have joined the Faces of Influenza campaign, sharing personal stories about their experiences with the disease and encouraging influenza vaccination among recommended groups.
The Lung Association is working with families across the country who lost loved ones to influenza. These families, as well as others involved in the program, have joined the Faces of Influenza campaign to help others avoid the tragedies they experienced.
On a national level, Olympic Gold Medalist figure skater, "Dancing with the Stars" winner and mother Kristi Yamaguchi is the spokesperson for the Faces of Influenza campaign. Other celebrit
|SOURCE The American Lung Association of the Central States|
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