Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Awareness Month


WHEREAS, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) is an inherited disorder that can lead to serious lung and liver disease; and  

WHEREAS, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (ATT) is a protein produced mostly in the liver, with the primary function of protecting the lungs from neutrophil elastase, an enzyme that if left unchecked can damage healthy lung tissue; and

WHEREAS, on average, it takes three doctors and seven years from the time lung symptoms first appear before a proper diagnosis is made; and

WHEREAS, symptoms of Alpha-1 include shortness of breath, wheezing or non-responsive asthma, coughing without phlegm production, recurring respiratory infections, rapid deterioration of lung function, unexplained liver problems, and elevated liver enzymes; and

WHEREAS, it is critical that those affected by Alpha-1 have access to affordable healthcare to detect and treat the disorder;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize November 2015 as ALPHA-1 ANTITRYPSIN DEFICIENCY AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.