Health & Safety

February 7, 2014

2013-2014 flu season update

Preventive Medicine Services, here, has once again led the way in providing flu shots during fiscal year 2013-2014.

To date, more than 4,000 flu vaccines have been administered to active duty Soldiers and Department of Defense civilians in the Fort Irwin health service area. Our National Training Center‘s current influenza status is 99.4 percent. Way to go Fort Irwin! Our goal is 100 percent, so if you have not received your yearly influenza vaccine it’s not too late to get yours.

Influenza will always remain a health threat for military populations and the nation. The start of the 2013-2014 flu season saw moderately severe cases, which began early in many areas of the United States. According to a FluView report from the Centers for Disease Control, during week two of the season (Jan. 5-11, 2014), influenza activity remained high in the U.S. overall. The California Department of Public Health reported that overall influenza activity during week two was widespread particularly in the southern section where flu activity began to increase late December into early January. This timing is consistent with prior non-pandemic influenza seasons in California, according to the California Department of Public Health Center for Infectious Disease with the season usually running from late fall to early winter.

In addition to getting the vaccine, practicing good health habits is essential in stopping the spread of germs including:

  • Staying home when you are sick
  • Covering your mouth/nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Washing your hands with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

Active duty Soldiers who have yet to receive their flu vaccine may do so at Preventive Medicine Services, building 172, on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. All family members, military dependents and retirees are eligible to receive their vaccine at the Mary E. Walker Immunization Clinic during their usual operating hours, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information on the seasonal flu visit the CDC Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/flu.  Information for this article was obtained from http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/ and http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Documents/Week%202%20-%20FINAL%20Report.pdf




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