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Shea-Porter, Engel, Harper Introduce Bipartisan Resolution to Recognize Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Shea-Porter, Engel, Harper Introduce Bipartisan Resolution to Recognize Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May has officially begun, and with it comes peak asthma and allergy season. To shine a spotlight on the two of the most common and dangerous chronic diseases, the co-chairs of the Congressional Allergy and Asthma Caucus, Representatives Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), Eliot Engel (NY-16), and Gregg Harper (MS-03), today introduced H.Res.304, a resolution recognizing May as Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.

“One in five Americans suffer from allergies. Each year, asthma causes more than 3,000 deaths and 1.9 million emergency room visits,” Shea-Porter, Engel, and Harper said in a joint statement. “By spreading awareness of these chronic diseases,  Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month can help lead to a better understanding of these diseases and how to prevent and manage their symptoms. Treatment, education, and research are truly the keys to reducing asthma and allergy morbidity and mortality.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 18 million Americans currently have asthma, including over 6 million children. Asthma cost the U.S. about $56 billion in medical costs, lost school and work days, and early deaths in 2007 (the latest available statistics). Asthma and allergies also have a heightened prevalence among women, children, minorities, and urban demographics. Additionally, less than half of those with asthma report being taught the correct steps to avoid triggers for asthma attacks.

As part of its mission to close the gap on these unfortunate statistics, Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month promotes recognition of these diseases’ heightened prevalence among children, women, minorities, and urban demographics. It also recognizes the importance of trained educators and community members in identifying, treating, and managing asthma and allergies; as well as the medical professionals who help families develop asthma and allergy management plans.