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    (5/4/2009) NEW HAVEN- Asthma is a chronic lung condition that affects 20 million people in the United States approximately 5 million of them are children. It is the number one reason for missed school days. In addition, direct and indirect costs exceed $12 billion a year. The City of New Haven is currently ranked number one as the city with the highest total asthma admissions to the emergency room in the state of Connecticut. Eighteen percent (18%) of New Havenís school children have asthma. Blacks and Hispanics are disproportionately affected by the disease.

    In response to these alarming statistics, and in an effort to raise public awareness of the risks faced everyday by Americans living with asthma, the Mayorís Greater New Haven Asthma Initiative is joining the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to participate in Asthma Awareness Month. On Friday May 8, 2009 from 10:00 AM- 2:00 PM approximately 400 New Haven students in grades 4-8 will assemble at the New Haven Field House at 480 Sherman Parkway to participate in the 6th Annual Asthma Walk to increase asthma awareness in the community. Participating children will walk and chant slogans that educate the public about asthma and triggers that cause attacks. There will also be several educational booths and displays, as well as clowns, local sports team mascots, high school athletes living with asthma and the American Lung Associationís Breath Express bus which will be on site for the duration of the activity. The interior of the Breath Express bus includes state-of-the-art exhibits that teach children about the dangers of smoking, the effects of secondhand smoke, the importance of good air quality and how all this impacts those with asthma.

    Asthma is a disease that affects the airways in the lungs. Symptoms include: coughing, wheezing, itchy watery eyes, difficulty breathing, rapid breathing and a continual stuffy nose, just to name a few. Symptoms of asthma are not the same for everyone and the disease is diagnosed by a physician. Triggers can be attributed to a number of factors including but not limited to dust and dust mites, cockroaches, rodents, household pets, household chemicals, use of tobacco or second hand smoke.

    This walk is one of several activities taking place during the month of May that was organized by the New Haven Asthma Initiative to help mark World Asthma Day. Sponsors of the walk include the American Lung Association, the Community Health Network, the New Haven Regional Water Authority, The American Lung Association, Astra Zeneca, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Hospital of St. Raphael, Yale New Haven Hospital and Preferred One.

    The Greater New Haven Regional Asthma Initiative is a component of the Greater New Haven Partnership for a Healthy community and provides resources that can help children, parents, teachers, administrators and the community to better manage this disease. Please contact Ashika Brinkley at (203) 946-8457 for more information or with questions.


    Contact Name: Jessica Mayorga

    Contact Email: jmayorga@newhavenct.net

    Contact Phone: 203-946-7660

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