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Are You That Guy? Campaign Helps Kids Say "No!" to Spreading the Flu

BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Every year, flu season arrives and with it comes fevers, aches, chills, and extreme fatigue. Influenza (the flu) affects people of all ages, especially kids, who are often the first to come down with the illness and bring it home to their families. That's why the Are You That Guy? influenza awareness campaign by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is focusing this year's effort on educating parents and children about flu prevention, symptoms, and treatment.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/59204-are-you-that-guy-flu-awareness-national-foundation-for-infectious-diseases

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121211/MM25857)

It is important to educate children and protect them from the flu. Influenza is a highly contagious virus of the nose, throat, and lungs, and can spread quickly in the close quarters children frequently share, such as day care centers and school classrooms. When children touch and share objects, including toys, games, pencils, and art supplies, flu can spread rapidly. Each year, up to 20 percent of all children get sick and some are hospitalized due to complications from influenza.1 Serious cases can be fatal.

To help parents educate their children about the flu, NFID developed an informative coloring book that teaches children about flu symptoms and good habits that may help prevent flu from spreading.  The "Are You a Flu Fighter?" coloring book is designed to encourage discussions within families about flu prevention including getting an annual influenza vaccine, recognizing flu symptoms, and the importance of seeing a doctor as soon as flu symptoms strike. The coloring book is free and available online at www.FluFACTS.com.  The central character, Freddie, learns about flu when he becomes sick suddenly one day at school. Along the way Freddie learns about flu symptoms, the importance of good hygiene so others don't catch the flu, seeing a doctor when he has the flu, and the importance of getting a flu vaccine every year.  "Are You a Flu Fighter?" is designed for elementary school-age children, and includes coloring pages along with a discussion guide for parents.

"We developed this campaign to help educate kids who are on the front lines when it comes to flu because they often contract the virus and quickly spread it by simply doing the things that kids naturally do. We believe that 'Are You a Flu Fighter?' will bring conversation about influenza into the home in a way that is educational and informative for children and their parents," said Susan J. Rehm, MD, NFID medical director. "In addition to practicing good hygiene, it's also important to make sure the whole family gets the flu vaccine each year. If you think your child has the flu, be sure to call your doctor right away, as prescription antiviral medicines may be appropriate."

In its third year, the Are You That Guy? campaign focuses on informing Americans of ways to prevent the spread of influenza. The campaign calls attention to "That Guy" – a person who despite experiencing flu symptoms, continues to go about his/her daily activities and as a consequence, may inadvertently spread the virus to others. The campaign again includes a partnership with The Emily Post Institute and Anna Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and co-author of the 18th edition of Emily Post's Etiquette, to remind Americans to do the responsible thing during flu season and practice behaviors that will help prevent the spread of the flu.

"Flu etiquette is an important life lesson, and one that should be taught early. Take the time to teach your child what it takes to be considerate and healthy even when they aren't feeling well," said Anna Post. "The flu can spread rapidly among groups of children so education efforts focused toward society's youngest members are crucial."

Influenza occurs most often in the late fall, winter, and early spring.2 It is a serious infection which is associated, on average, with more than 200,000 hospitalizations due to flu-related complications and can lead to thousands of deaths every year in the U.S.1

The Are You That Guy? campaign is supported by Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. To learn more or to obtain a free copy of the "Are You a Flu Fighter?" coloring book, visit www.FluFACTS.com.

About the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)
NFID is a non–profit, tax–exempt 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1973 and dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the causes, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases. Visit www.nfid.org for additional information.

About The Emily Post Institute, Inc.
The Emily Post Institute, Inc. is one of America's most unique family businesses. The name Emily Post has defined etiquette in America since 1922. Led today by fourth- and fifth-generation family members of Emily Post, Anna Post and the other Post authors offer etiquette, lifestyle and relationship advice for the 21st century. In addition to the signature title, Emily Post's Etiquette, now in its 18th edition, the Posts have popular books on wedding and business etiquette and a forthcoming title on technology and social media manners. There are regular columns written by the Posts in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Good Housekeeping, and Inside Weddings. The company also offers e-learning, business etiquette seminars, train-the-trainer programs, and maintains the websites www.emilypost.com and www.etiquettedaily.com.  The Posts conduct media interviews and spokesperson campaigns.

[1] CDC. Seasonal Influenza (Flu). Q&A.  http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/disease.htm   (Accessed November 2, 2012)

[2] National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. Influenza. http://www.nfid.org/idinfo/influenza  (Accessed November 14, 2012) 

SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

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