Health & Safety

February 20, 2014

ANG immunization expert says flu shot still vital

Airman Halley Burgess
131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. (AFNS) — It’s deep into flu season, and public health officials continue to work to spread the word about the importance of getting the flu shot, especially in light of a recent increase in a particularly severe flu strain affecting young adults.

A recent World Health Organization advisory indicated that flu activity remains high across North America, according to Lt. Col. Susan Walker, chief nurse executive for the Missouri Air National Guard’s 131st Medical Group.

“The majority of what they are seeing out there is H1N1,” said Walker of the flu strain that is famous for causing severe illness and in some cases, death – even amongst otherwise healthy young adults. “The vaccine we are using this season provides protection against the Influenza A- H1N1 flu strain,” she added.

Walker, a traditional Guard member, is somewhat of an expert in and out of uniform; when not helping to manage health care operations here, she teaches and assesses military immunization programs in her civilian role as an immunization healthcare specialist.

Another expert is Senior Master Sgt. Jessica Settle, a Human Resources Advisor with the 131st Bomb Wing who works as a planner for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. She attributes the uptick in H1N1 amongst the 25- to-47-year-old demographic to their neglecting to get immunized.

According to Walker, the Department of Defense has exceeded its goal to have 90 percent of the force immunized by mid-December, and Settle urges all Airmen who haven’t yet done so to be sure that they get the vaccine. She also suggests that Airmen remind their friends and loved ones that it is not too late in the season to get vaccinated.

“The ‘regular’ flu season has not yet peaked and typically lasts until May,” said Settle. Even after the flu season peaks, expeditionary Airmen remain vulnerable, according to Walker.

“Our people could deploy to areas where the flu season is still prevalent,” she said, so “DOD will vaccinate for flu up to June 30, 2014 – the expiration date on the vaccine.”

In addition to getting vaccinated, Settle reminds everyone to be mindful of their personal hygiene – and the hygiene of the people around them as well – in order to maximize protection against the flu.

“It is a culmination of neglecting to cough or sneeze in a tissue and going out while sick, along with not being vaccinated, that causes illness outbreaks,” Settle said.

While it is important to protect yourself the flu vaccine, is not recommended to anyone who has a condition or medical reasons which advise against it. Pregnant women, young children, people with chronic health problems, and the elderly are strongly advised to get vaccinated.

Capt. Jeffrey Bishop contributed to this article.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

Davis-Monthan Airman helps Tucsonan

One weather forecaster’s self-aid buddy care training quickly resurfaced when she witnessed a car accident outside the gates of Davis-Monthan. Senior Airman Amanda Boone, 355th Operations Support Squadron weather forecaster, ...
 
 

U.S. Air Force to kick off COOL program

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) — The Community College of the Air Force officially launched the Air Force Credentialing Opportunities On-Line program March 16. Air Force COOL is a pathway for enlisted Airmen to earn industry recognized professional certifications and licenses to enhance their active-duty work and to prepare them as they transition to...
 
 

Military leads the way in equal opportunity

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — What does it take to change a nation? What force has the power to move millions of people in their fundamental views of the world? For Christopher Daniels, a U.S. Air Force colonel, that answer is simple: leadership. In his words, “The true agent of change is true leadership.”...
 

 

Doolittle Tokyo Raiders to receive Congressional Gold Medal

(U.S. Air Force photo) On April 18, 1942, Airmen of the U.S. Army Air Forces, led by Lt. Col. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, carried the Battle of the Pacific to the heart of the Japanese empire with a surprising and daring raid on military targets at Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Nagoya, and Kobe. This heroic attack...
 
 

AFAF gives all Airmen a chance to pay it forward

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — It’s Sept. 12, 2005. Senior Airman Dennis Hutchison is recovering from a hard day’s work on the flightline of Robbins Air Force Base, Georgia, when he receives a call that tragedy had struck. “I got a notification from my family that my father had passed away,” Hutchison said. “I immediately contacted...
 
 

Rocketry Club ready to take flight this weekend

TUCSON, Arizona – On March 28 and 29, hundreds of rockets will soar into the Tucson sky at Desert Heat 2015. Rocket enthusiasts from around the Southwest will gather for this annual two-day rocketry event, where there’s no cost to watch, and kids always fly free. The rockets that will be launched vary in size...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin