Governor Judge Marks May As "Asthma Awareness Month"

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Asthma Awareness Month

In honor of World Asthma Day, Lt. Governor Patty Judge has asked that Iowans remember those Iowans who are affected by Asthma.

Governor Culver has also proclaimed the month of May as "Asthma Awareness Month" in Iowa and asked that all Iowans be mindful of the effects of asthma.

Joining with the Iowa Department of Public Health, Lt. Governor Patty Judge wants to ensure that Iowans who have asthma and their families are empowered, knowledgeable and capable of taking responsibility for their own health outcomes.

"Proper diagnosis and effective management of asthma symptoms can significantly reduce suffering and deaths caused by this disease," said Lt. Governor Patty Judge. "Educating the public about the signs and symptoms of asthma can lead to a reduction in death, medical costs and a reduction in lost educational time and overall productivity."

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To help raise awareness of this issue, Lt. Governor Judge, a former nurse, will spend time with children at Asthma Adventure Camp in Boone the week of July 22-28, 2007.

Keeping air clear of allergens and irritants found in homes, work and school can help the more than 200,000 Iowa children, teens and adults that suffer from asthma. Asthma is a chronic, no cure disease that causes the airways of the lungs to tighten.

In Iowa, asthma causes nearly 50,000 emergency room visits, 12,000 hospitalizations, and 45,000 unscheduled office visits each year. It is the most common chronic disease in children; however, it is often misdiagnosed.

Mold, dust mites secondhand smoke, cockroaches, cats and dogs, and chemical products like cleaning supplies can trigger an asthma attack. During an asthma attack, the airways get narrow making it hard to breathe. Signs of an asthma attack include: trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing, chest pain and chest tightness.

Iowans, especially children, with asthma are encouraged to have an asthma action plan. An asthma action plan helps a person effectively manage their asthma.

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