As a vital part of maintaining a fit fighting force, the 509th Medical Group has begun offering the 2011-2012 influenza vaccine to all active-duty personnel, including those residing at the Whiteman Air Force Base. The influenza vaccine will be available to all TRICARE eligible dependents and retirees starting Oct. 1. This season’s vaccine will provide protection against several strains of influenza to include H1N1.
Flu vaccination is required for active-duty members to ensure maximum protection against influenza infection. Influenza can incapacitate or degrade the effectiveness of members for significant periods, thereby compromising mission capabilities.
The influenza season in the U.S. runs from October through May each year. However, most infections occur from December through March. The flu is caused by a virus that spreads from one infected person to the nose or throats of others. It can move rapidly through groups of people, especially in confined spaces such as dormitories and work areas. The flu can cause fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, muscle aches, chills and fatigue.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza kills more than 36,000 people and hospitalizes more than 200,000 people each year in the U.S. The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination each year.
The following health habits are important ways to help prevent flu:
* Washing hands often will help protect from the virus that causes the flu.
* Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
* Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
* Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
Whiteman Air Force Base is home not just to active-duty personnel, but to retirees and families as well. Military families deciding to look into Whiteman Real Estate or on-base living should contact Dorn Homes, the number one choice among the many home builders in Whiteman AFB. Many military families already reside in homes in Whiteman and if you would like to be one of them, our stylish, convenient, comfortable, and energy efficient new homes in Whiteman are great options.