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Hunter works to expand influenza research and prevention

Sen. Hunter works to expand influenza research and prevention SPRINGFIELD – After an increase in hospital visits during what was reported as an extremely harsh flu season, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) increased efforts to provide students and parents research and prevention materials regarding influenza.

“There was a very rapid increase in the number of people going to see their doctors or health care providers with flu related symptoms,” said Hunter. “We have to get in front of this issue by providing children and families the information they need to live healthy lives.”

 

Senate Bill 2654 requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to develop informational materials about influenza and flu vaccines for school districts. Additionally, school boards would be required to provide that information to parents when notifying them of other health related matters.

“Influenza is a dangerous illness that can have serious consequences, but people can take steps to protect themselves,” Hunter said. “We need to make sure no one ends up severely ill because they lacked information on preventative measures they can take.”

According to reports, there have been, a total of 114 pediatric deaths related to the flu; 30 deaths so far this year. Doctors' offices and emergency rooms experienced visits at levels almost as high as during the 2009 swine flu epidemic.

The bill passed 40-12 and will head the Illinois House of Representative for further consideration.

Sen. Mattie Hunter

Senator Mattie Hunter

3rd District
Majority Caucus Whip


Years served:
2003 - Present (Senate)

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Executive; Human Services; Public Health; Committee of the Whole; Energy and Public Utilities (Chairperson).

Biography: State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago – 3rd District) has served in the Illinois Senate since 2003. She is Chairperson of the Senate Energy Committee and serves on many other committees like Human Services and Public Health. She is also appointed to serve on the National Conference of State Legislatures Health Committee and is Co-Chair of the Council of State Government Health Policy Task Force.