SAINT PAUL, Minn., Dec. 8 The American Lung Association of Minnesota is urging Minnesotans to immunize themselves and their families against influenza this week as part of the national vaccination week.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 36,000 Americans die from influenza annually, in spite of the wide-spread availability of effective vaccines for the respiratory disease. The American Lung Association of Minnesota has helped to spread the word on flu shots through its Faces of Influenza campaign. Faces is a multiyear national public awareness initiative aimed at helping Americans "put a face" on this serious disease that kills so many.
In Minnesota, that face -- and voice -- has belonged to Linda DeLude, the widow of Minneapolis firefighter Barry DeLude, an otherwise healthy 44 year old who died of complications of the flu in January 2007. DeLude has been a strong spokesperson for flu shots since the death of her husband, speaking out on television, radio and newspaper interviews.
The American Lung Association of Minnesota notes that influenza poses an even greater risk for people with other lung disorders, such as asthma and COPD. To learn more about the flu and asthma, visit the Minnesota Asthma Coalition website at www.mnasthma.org. For more on influenza and COPD, visit www.alamn.org/copd.
To learn more about the Faces of Influenza campaign, see www.facesofinfluenza.org. For information on where to find a flu shot clinic in Minnesota, go to www.mdhflu.com or http://www.flushotlocator.com/.
SOURCE American Lung Association of Minnesota