Health & Safety

January 25, 2013

Service members urged to take action against the flu

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Lancaster
Staff Sgt. Greer Keith, 99th Medical Operations Squadron allergy and immunization non-commissioned officer in charge, administers a flu shot to Ed Gardener, a United States Air Force retiree, during Retiree Appreciation Day, Sept. 15, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Four members of the 99th MDOS administered 350 flu shots during the event.

(AFNS) — Although flu season typically peaks in February, the influenza-related death toll continues to climb as the nation is impacted by an increase in influenza illnesses, with 47 states reporting widespread geographical activity. With a 10 to 20 percent increase (of cases) for this time of year, medical professionals urge service members to take preventive actions.

“Non-immunized children up to 18 years old have been particularly hard hit, but all ages are affected,” said Lt. Col. Brian Ortman, 633rd Medical Group public health flight commander, Langley AFB, Va. “Health professionals are seeing influenza and other respiratory illnesses, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Influenza A (H3N2) has been the predominant strain this season, which might indicate the increased severity as H3N2 flu seasons typically tend to be more severe.”

According to Ortman, service members and their families can take preventive actions to avoid becoming affected by the flu.

“The most effective way to prevent the majority of flu infections is through an annual vaccination, combined with proper hand washing and cough etiquette. Hand washing and use of sanitizing gels can reduce infection rates by 30 percent,” he said. “This year’s vaccine is an excellent match for the flu strains being seen. Still, a small percentage of vaccinated people do get the flu, although usually milder and shorter duration.

While children seem to be most affected this year, Ortman said everyone six months of age and older is recommended for vaccination against the flu, and children need two doses of flu vaccine the first year to be fully protected.

Although all members are essential in carrying out the mission, Ortman advises individuals to take care of themselves if they are affected by the flu. “Stay home if you are sick. If deciding whether or not to stay home, consider if you have a fever more than 100.5 F with cough or sore throat,” Ortman said. “If a medical quarters order is needed, or symptoms worsen or persist, individuals should make an appointment with their primary care manager first, or visit the Emergency Department if necessary.

“AFI 36-815, Absence and Leave, provides sick leave guidance for civilian employees,” Ortman continued. “(We encourage) commanders and supervisors to use discretion with similar guidance for military members.”

According to Ortman, there is still a substantial supply for those needing the vaccine.

For more information about the seriousness of influenza and the benefits of the influenza vaccine, Ortman advises service members to talk to their doctor, visit www.flu.gov or contact your base’s immunizations department.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Nellis holds MARE to prepare

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Firefighters from the 99th Civil Engineer Squadron spray an F-16 Fighting Falcon that is playing the role of a downed F-35A Lightning II during a major accident response exercise ...
 
 

AF adjusts enlisted retention results

WASHINGTON — Air Force officials announced an adjustment to the Junior Enlisted Retention Board which convened in June at the Air Force Personnel Center. Fifty Airmen who were not selected for retention during the FY14 force management ERB were offered the opportunity to remain on active duty following identification of an issue in the eligibility...
 
 

Taking a stand: Help win fight against sexual assault

WASHINGTON — Just as Airmen broke the sound barrier and pioneered new paths to space, Airmen will pioneer new ways to prevent sexual assault in the Air Force. Preventing this crime is not easy; if it were, you, America’s Airmen, would already have eliminated it from our force. As we begin this new fiscal year,...
 

 
smoke-detector

Remember to change your smoke detector battery

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — The staff of the Moody Fire Prevention office is urging everyone to make a potentially life-saving move when they set your clocks back one hour Nov. 2: Take a moment to change their smoke alarm b...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal

Tips for visiting Nellis Open House

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off to perform an aerial demonstration during Aviation Nation Nov. 11, 2012, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a hi...
 
 

Nellis to honor contributions of Native Americans throughout November

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — For close to 100 years, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior for Indian Affairs, American Indians advocated for a designated day to honor their contributions, achievements, sacrifices and cultural and historical legacy of the original inhabitants of what is now the United States. In 1976, their voice was heard...
 




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