When it comes to the flu, Americans are confused by what's fact and what's fiction and often rely on time honored "old wives' tales" to scare away the virus, according to a recent survey of 1,000 consumers by The Clorox Company. That's why Clorox has once again teamed up with the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) and Families Fighting Flu (FFF) to help teach families the right way to Say "Boo!" to the Flu.
For the sixth consecutive year, Say "Boo!" to the Flu, which appeals to parents and kids of all ages by incorporating a fun Halloween theme, will educate families throughout the month of October on the importance of flu vaccinations and simple prevention tips - like hand washing and disinfecting germ hot spots. Earlier this year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded its seasonal flu vaccine recommendations to include everyone 6 months and older, making vaccination a priority for the whole family.
"The recent H1N1 pandemic brought a lot of attention to the need for influenza vaccinations, as has the CDC's recent universal recommendation for persons 6 months of age and older. Unlike last year, the H1N1 virus is included in the 2010-2011 seasonal flu vaccine," said Kay Renny, RN, Manager of Community Programs at VNA of Southeast Michigan. "Say 'Boo!' to the Flu provides simple tips and tools that educate families on proper prevention so they can protect themselves. I encourage parents to visit www.SayBooToTheFlu.com to learn easy prevention tips, take the pledge and find activities to teach kids how to help prevent the spread of the flu virus."
Flu Knowledge by the Numbers
To illustrate the gap in Americans' understanding of preventative measures and treatment, consider the following:
Nearly one-third of Americans believe cold weather can lead to flu, and one-third are also mistaken or confused about whether going out in the cold with wet hair can lead to flu. In fact, experts confirm that flu is transmitted from person to person.
Only about 10 percent of Americans seem clear that eating chicken soup or drinking tea and other warm beverages does not help flu symptoms go away more quickly. While chicken soup, tea and other warm beverages may help you feel better temporarily, they have not been proven to make symptoms go away more quickly.
Only 10 percent of Americans understand that flu is contagious both before and after one develops symptoms. In fact, most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick.(1) That's why taking prevention steps like frequent hand washing, coughing and sneezing into your elbow and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces are so important.
"It is important that everyone 6 months or older get a flu vaccine, and luckily, it has never been easier," said Richard Kanowitz, President of Families Fighting Flu. "Ever since my wife and I lost our daughter, Amanda, to seasonal flu, we have made it our duty to educate other families on the importance of flu vaccines. We urge parents to take the flu prevention pledge, and find local Say "Boo!" to the Flu vaccination events at www.SayBooToTheFlu.com."
Say "Boo!" To The Flu May Be Coming to You!
This year, Say "Boo!" to the Flu is renewing its commitment to families all over America by once again organizing seasonal flu vaccination events across the country. In October, families attending local Say "Boo!" to the Flu events can get vaccinated against seasonal flu and learn other important tips to help prevent the spread of seasonal flu. Visit www.SayBooToTheFlu.com to see if there is an event in your area.
Say "Boo!" to the Flu and the Winner Could be You!
Throughout the month of October, all consumers who take the flu prevention pledge at www.SayBooToTheFlu.com will be entered into a sweepstakes to win a trip to their favorite wizard-themed amusement park in Orlando, Florida. Additionally, each week five lucky winners will receive a Say "Boo!" to the Flu prize pack.
About Families Fighting Flu - Families Fighting Flu is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization established in 2004 that is made up of families and health care practitioners. Each family has experienced first-hand the death of a child due to the flu or has had a child experience severe medical complications from the flu. Families Fighting Flu is dedicated to educating people about the severity of influenza and the importance of vaccinating children against the flu every year. Through education and advocacy, they hope to improve the rates of childhood flu vaccinations and help reduce the number of childhood illnesses and deaths caused by the flu each year. For more information, visit www.FamiliesFightingFlu.org or call 1-888-2ENDFLU.
About Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) - The Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) is the official national association that supports, promotes and advocates for community-based, non-profit home health and hospice providers that care for all individuals regardless of complexity of condition or ability to pay. They provide compassionate care to some of the nation's most vulnerable individuals, particularly the elderly and individuals with disabilities. As a Say "Boo!" to the Flu lead partner, VNAA represents the largest network of nonprofit community immunizers in the country and is committed to enhancing vaccination programs nationwide. Collectively, VNAA members administered more than 1.5 million doses of flu vaccine in 2009. For more information, visit www.VNAA.org.
About The Clorox Company - The Clorox Company is committed to helping families live happier, healthier lives. As part of this commitment, Clorox is honored to support the Say "Boo!" to the Flu program to educate parents about the importance of flu prevention and the role of disinfecting to help prevent the spread of surface germs that cause the flu. For more information, visit www.Clorox.com. For more information about the role of disinfecting to help prevent the spread of surface germs that cause the flu, visit www.SayBooToTheFlu.com.
About the Survey - These results are based on a survey conducted by Ipsos, a leading market research firm. The sample consisted of 1,004 adults, including 586 women and 418 men aged 18 years and older. The questions were part of a weekly online survey conducted by Ipsos among a nationally representative sample. All interviewing was completed between September 9 and 13, 2010. For this study, the margin of error is +/- 3% at the 95% level of confidence.