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WHEREAS, a food allergy is a medical condition in which exposure to a food triggers a harmful immune response; and
WHEREAS, reactions typically occur when an individual unknowingly eats food containing an ingredient to which they are allergic; and
WHEREAS, as many as 15 million Americans, including six million children, have food allergies, and nearly 6 million are children; and
WHEREAS, research shows that the prevalence of food allergies is increasing among children; and
WHEREAS, eight foods cause the majority of all food allergy reactions in the U.S.: shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, and wheat; and
WHEREAS, symptoms of a food-allergic reaction can include hives, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress, and swelling of the throat; and
WHEREAS, anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and can cause death; and
WHEREAS, prompt administration of epinephrine is crucial to successfully treating anaphylaxis; and
WHEREAS, food allergies result in more than 200,000 emergency care visits a year; and
WHEREAS, there is no cure for food allergies, and strict avoidance of the offending food is the only way to prevent an allergic reaction; and
WHEREAS, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the safety and inclusion of individuals with food allergies, and seeking a cure;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 13-19, 2018, as FOOD ALLERGY AWARENESS WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.