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Media Advisory: Immunization Expert Available to Comment on 2010-2011 Flu Season

Contact Becky Wexler

Media Advisory: Immunization Expert Available to Comment on 2010-2011 Flu Season

Washington, D.C. (November 10, 2010)—The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) commends the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) on its release of a new report, Fighting Flu Fatigue. The report asserts that while last year’s H1N1 outbreak dramatically raised awareness about the threat of influenza, the country may return to its complacent attitude toward the flu because the H1N1 vaccine is widely available and concerns about new strains of flu have diminished. Such complacency can be dangerous.

“This year, we’re using the term ‘flu fatigue’ to describe the fact that many Americans are tired of hearing about the dangers of the flu, particularly because of the massive response to an H1N1 outbreak that most people believe turned out to be fairly mild,” said Paul Etkind, DrPH, MPH, an immunization expert at NACCHO. “But it is important to remember that although the 2009-10 flu season was not the nightmare of 1918, approximately 61 million Americans became ill, almost a quarter of a million were hospitalized, and more than 12,000 people died. Schools were closed, and millions of people lost time and wages because they were sick themselves or they had to stay home to care for sick family members.”

Choose to protect yourselves and your families with the vaccine, advised Etkind, in order to avoid needless illness and hospitalization, loss of time from work and school, and preventable death. “Let’s not give the flu the opportunity to devastate our hearts and wallets,” he said. “Vaccinate early and annually.”

Dr. Etkind is available to speak with the media about “flu fatigue", flu prevention tips, and vaccine availability. Contact Alisa Blum at ablum@naccho.org or 202-507-4277 to schedule an interview.
About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation's 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities.


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