SOURCE: Families Fighting Flu

Families Fighting Flu

October 16, 2013 09:00 ET

Families Fighting Flu Encourages You to Stay in the Game™ This Flu Season -- Get Your Annual Flu Vaccine Today

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwired - Oct 16, 2013) - Every year in the U.S., children miss more than 38 million days of school due to the flu, a potentially deadly disease that is often underestimated in its severity. In response, Families Fighting Flu (FFF), a national non-profit organization dedicated to flu awareness and prevention, today is launching Stay in the Game™, a national educational campaign focused on the critical need for annual flu vaccination for the entire family.

The flu, or influenza, is unpredictable and is especially concerning for children. Last flu season was devastating with 164 pediatric deaths due to the flu, which is the highest number of pediatric deaths ever recorded in a non-pandemic season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu every year.

"Annual flu vaccination is the safest and most effective prevention technique we currently have to protect against the flu," said Dr. Andrew Eisenberg, a practicing physician from Sarasota, Fla., and a medical advisor to FFF. "The flu strains can change from year to year, therefore making it important to get vaccinated every year." 

An important component of the campaign is a national broadcast public service announcement, which shares the unbelievable story of Madison Allen, a 15-year-old flu survivor who was given a 1 percent chance to live after being diagnosed with the flu. Madison is an active teenager who loves sports and hanging out with friends. However, three years ago, she spent a total of 93 days in the hospital, including the pediatric intensive care unit and on ECMO (life support) due to the flu. While her family typically received their flu vaccinations annually, the year that Madison became seriously ill, they had not been vaccinated. 

"Our organization is committed to sharing the stories of our member families in the hopes that we can help raise awareness and educate the public about the seriousness of the flu," said Laura Scott, executive director of FFF. "Madison's story underscores the importance for annual flu vaccination. We want everyone to know the flu can be devastating, but it is also preventable."

For more information about FFF, the flu, flu prevention, or to find a vaccination clinic in your area, visit www.familiesfightingflu.org and http://firstlinemedia.com/www/familiesfightingflu/.