Back to Top Skip to main content

Preventing seasonal influenza

Air Force Staff Sgt. Jaqueline Mbugua and members of the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 102nd Medical Group traveled to the Roxy Theater on Joint Base Cape Cod to provide flu shots to Airmen Nov. 2, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Thomas Swanson). Air Force Staff Sgt. Jaqueline Mbugua and members of the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 102nd Medical Group traveled to the Roxy Theater on Joint Base Cape Cod to provide flu shots to Airmen Nov. 2, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Thomas Swanson).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Immunization Healthcare | Immunizations

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by two main types of the flu virus: Types A and B. The influenza A and B viruses that routinely spread in people are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year. Both can cause mild to severe illness with symptoms including fever, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headache, coughing and general fatigue. Serious outcomes of infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as elderly people, young children and people with certain health conditions are at a higher risk of serious complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated annually.

How It Spreads: Most experts think that viruses spread primarily by droplets made when infected people cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people up to six feet away, or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. Appropriate cough etiquette and hand washing helps prevent the spread of germs.

Period of Contagiousness: Healthy adults can infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to seven days after. Children and some people with weakened immune systems may pass the virus for longer than seven days. However, people are most contagious in the first three to four days after their illness begins. Symptoms typically begin about two days (but can range from one to four days) after the virus enters the body. Some people can also be infected but have no symptoms.

Prevention: The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated every year. Good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses. There are also antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent flu.

Simple ways to prevent the spread to others include:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Staying home from work or school, and not running errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.
  • Washing your hands often. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

United States Data: The flu has resulted in between 9.3 million to 49 million illnesses each year in the United States since 2010. On average, 5% - 20% of the United States population gets the flu, resulting in 31.4 million outpatient visits and more than 200,000 hospitalizations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the severe 2017-2018 flu season, one of the longest in recent years, estimates indicate that more than 900,000 people were hospitalized and more than 80,000 people died from flu including 185 children. Approximately 80% of these deaths occurred in children who had not received a vaccination. During this same season, approximately 40% of the U.S. population chose to get a flu vaccine, preventing an estimated of 7 million flu illnesses and 8,000 deaths. In Colorado alone, during the 2018-2019 season, 3,825 people were hospitalized for flu; 84 outbreaks occurred in long-term care facilities and three deaths occurred in children under age 18 years.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may be edited for length and clarity.  Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Langley surgical team goes 'purple'

Article
1/3/2019
A joint surgical team comprised of three separate branches assembled to perform an operation at U.S. Air Force Hospital Langley at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. Consisting of a Navy surgeon, Air Force nurse and Army technician, the team performed a Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery to restore a patient’s sinus ventilation to normal function. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Samuel Eckholm)

A joint surgical team was organized to perform a functional endoscopic sinus surgery

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Army hospital earns reputation as a top teaching institution

Article
1/2/2019
Army OB/GYN nurse residents train in the CRDAMC simulation lab. The OB/GYN Nurse Resident Program, only offered at CRDAMC, focuses on OB/GYN nursing skills that include childbearing, high-risk and complicated pregnancy, newborn assessment and care and family planning gynecology. (U.S. Army photo by Gloria Montgomery)

CRDAMC has been recognized by healthcare associations and educational institutions for exceptional achievements

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Combat medics improve readiness with individual critical task list training

Article
12/31/2018
A group of combat medics unload a casualty from a MEDEVAC helicopter during a recent emergency medical evacuation training exercise at the hospital’s helipad here as part of the combat medic’s individual critical task list training. (U.S. Army photo by Patricia Deal)

There is no substitution for being pushed around by the rotor wash of a helicopter

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

If the weather outside is frightful, a little preparation can make it delightful

Article
12/28/2018
Army 2nd Lt. David Stringer, 452nd Combat Support Hospital, leads his group through snowy terrain during winter warfare training at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Felix R. Fimbres)

Learn the risks of exposure to cold, and steps to stay safe

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Navy corpsman: Carrying the legacy

Article
12/27/2018
Navy Seaman Brandon Taylor, a corpsman, inserts a decompression needle into an essential care simulator manikin during shock trauma section drills. The drills focused on sharpening life-saving skills and capabilities. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Justin Huffty)

Navy hospital corpsmen attend 14-week “A” school at the Medical Education and Training Campus in Joint Base San Antonio — Fort Sam Houston, Texas

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Hospital ship USNS Comfort returns home after completing mission

Article
12/20/2018
Family and friends of crew members aboard Military Sealift Command’s hospital ship USNS Comfort wait as the ship pulls into Naval Station Norfolk, Dec. 18. Comfort returned to Virginia after completing its 11-week medical support mission to South and Central America, part of U.S. Southern Command’s Operation Enduring Promise initiative. (U.S. Navy photograph by Brian Suriani)

This mission marked the sixth time the hospital ship has provided medical assistance in the region

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics | Global Health Engagement | Global Health Security Agenda

Super Galaxy: Aeromedical evacuation's biggest ally

Article
12/17/2018
Air Force Aeromedical Teams from the 433rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and the 439th AES complete a training scenario during a C-5M Super Galaxy AE proof of concept flight from Scott AFB, Illinois. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Joseph Swafford)

The C-5M upgrades allowed the proof of concept to work, but Airmen’s innovation is what made it happen

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Vaccination is the best defense against the flu

Article
12/10/2018
Vaccination is the primary method for preventing influenza and its complications and getting an annual influenza vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Erica Knight)

Vaccination is needed every year because the Influenza viruses change

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Immunization Healthcare | Immunizations

Fleet surgical team saves life aboard USS Somerset

Article
12/6/2018
Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Chao, the Littoral Combat Group One, surgeon, second from left, performs an emergency appendectomy as other medical team members assist aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andrew Brame)

We were able to determine he had acute appendicitis

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

New training mannequins help Soldiers save lives

Article
11/28/2018
Soldiers at Fort Benning, Georgia, train one another on using the Tactical Combat Casualty Care Exportable system, a medical trauma training mannequin. Personnel from the office of the Program Executive Officer for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, brought new, technologically advanced medical training mannequins to Fort Benning to increase the realism of medical trauma training and ultimately to save lives and limbs. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick Albright)

The realism of it creates that white-knuckle sensation and adrenalin for the Soldier

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Pararescue medics rehearse for unique mission

Article
11/7/2018
Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing revalidate their response time in the event of a catastrophic, life-threatening occurrence within the capsule of a human space flight launch at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. This exercise marked the first time that the Department of Defense, NASA and commercial providers have exercised this type of event utilizing twelve live patients and the full array of air assets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kelly Goonan)

The 920th RQW is ready to support the next era of human space flight

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

DoD, FDA working together to benefit warfighters

Article
11/2/2018
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner (left) and Mr. Thomas McCaffery, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) (right), congratulate on another following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the DoD and the FDA.  The ceremony acknowledges the existing partnership and the future collaboration on accessing life-saving medical products for U.S. troops on the battlefield.

DoD and FDA leaders signed a memorandum of understanding to foster and prioritize the development of critical medical products

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

WRAIR begins Phase 1 clinical trial of Marburg vaccine

Article
10/19/2018
The WRAIR study evaluates the VRC-MARADC087-00-VP vaccine, developed by the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health. (U.S. Army file photo)

WRAIR recently administered the first vaccine in a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a Marburg vaccine

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Immunizations

USNS Comfort conducts mass casualty training exercise

Article
10/15/2018
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Arthur Lammers, an anesthesiologist assigned to the hospital ship USNS Comfort, practices patient transfer during a mass casualty exercise. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joseph DeLuco)

A mass casualty event, by nature, is chaotic

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Say ‘Shoo’ to the flu with TRICARE

Article
9/26/2018
Amanda LaFountain, a licensed practical nurse, administers the flu shot to a Soldier. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Marshall Metzger)

Flu viruses are serious, contagious viruses that can lead to hospitalization or even death

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Immunization Healthcare | Public Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 of 6

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.