Back to Top Skip to main content

Mid-season flu activity increase: How to keep healthy

Navy Hospital Corpsman Kenny Liu, from San Jose, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford's medical department, prepares a needle with a flu vaccination in the ship's hangar bay. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Angel Thuy Jaskuloski) Navy Hospital Corpsman Kenny Liu, from San Jose, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford's medical department, prepares a needle with a flu vaccination in the ship's hangar bay. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Angel Thuy Jaskuloski)

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Influenza Summary and Reports | Health Readiness | Influenza, Northern Hemisphere | Influenza, Southern Hemisphere | Vaccine Recommendations | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch

Influenza can affect anyone, from the everyday civilian to the active-duty service member. Current trends show an increase in flu activity at the halfway point of the season. While it’s too early in the season to determine the overall severity of the flu, the Military Health System maintains readiness and resourcefulness to protect the armed forces and their loved ones from effects of the flu.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found an elevated level of influenza activity earlier in the season than is typically observed around this time. As of Jan. 16, the CDC estimates that there have been approximately 4,800 flu-related deaths and 87,000 hospitalizations nationwide this season. Active surveillance by the Defense Health Agency’s Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division (AFHSD) has also found high levels of influenza activity among military personnel.

Despite the increase in activity, MHS is prepared to sustain the health of service members and their families. All military personnel are required to be immunized against the flu annually to decrease susceptibility to infection.

“Immunization is important given that military personnel live and work in close proximity with other members of the community,” said Navy Cmdr. Shawn Clausen of AFHSD’s Epidemiology and Analysis section.

While involvement in patient-care activities and participation in large gatherings increases the risk of infection, early data and discussions with the CDC show that the risk among military members and the general population appears to be similar. To get ahead of this risk, the Department of Defense has already distributed more than 3.3 million doses of influenza vaccine throughout the military. As of Jan. 16, approximately 90 percent of all service members have been vaccinated.

Vaccination is recommended not just for military members, but also their loved ones, according to Janet Brunader, a research nurse in the Vaccine Safety & Evaluation section of the Defense Health Agency’s Immunization Healthcare Division.

“The good news is that although seasonal influenza vaccine is not always a perfect match, it is still the best way to provide protection against influenza disease,” she said. Brunader suggests that everyone 6 months or older get a flu shot each year in the fall. Children over 6 months of age but under age 8 years who have never had a flu shot should get two shots – one shot followed by another at least four weeks later. Children who have had at least one flu shot in the past only need to get one flu shot each year.

There are numerous ways in addition to vaccination to keep safe against the flu.

“One helpful suggestion, in addition to washing your hands before eating or handling food, is to avoid touching your eyes, nose, or face with your unwashed hands,” Brunader said. “This will help prevent spreading germs from surfaces to your eyes, nose, or mouth.”

Since flu viruses can also spread through the air, Brunader suggests staying at least six feet away from people who are coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose. If you already have the flu, coughing into a tissue or the bend of the elbow will reduce the spread of viruses. Those suspecting they have the flu should contact a health care provider within two days of the symptoms. Early treatment with anti-influenza drugs can shorten the duration of illness.

Beneficiaries can receive flu vaccines through their closest military hospital and retail networks. TRICARE representatives can help determine how to get the vaccine if a person is unable to visit a military hospital. MHS also has an archive of influenza resources for beneficiaries to learn more about the flu and what they need to do to keep safe during the season.

Among the four types of flu, influenza A and B are the main two strains that cause “flu season.” AFHSD has paid close attention to both of these strains this year.

“As reflected in the U.S. among civilian populations [this season], the majority of laboratory-confirmed influenza-positive specimens continued to be influenza subtype B [Victoria lineage],” said Navy Cmdr. Mark Scheckelhoff from AFHSD’s Global Emerging Infections Surveillance section. "In recent weeks, the incidence of influenza A, specifically A(H1N1)pdm09, has increased steadily and appears that it will soon become the most predominant strain.”

According to early data from AFHSD, most of the U.S. is experiencing at least “moderate” levels of flu and flu-like activity, with the exception of a few states. Globally, temperate areas of Europe are also observing increased incidences of the flu, with areas of Central and Western Africa continuing to have elevated activity as well. Most of South and Central America and most areas of South and Southeast Asia are reporting “low” levels of activity, but the World Health Organization characterizes other areas of Asia as either “elevated” or “increasing.”

To monitor progression of the flu through the season, AFHSD produces a tri-service consolidated influenza report weekly to reflect data from military hospitals. The CDC also produces a more holistic view on how influenza is affecting the rest of the country.

You also may be interested in...

Chlamydia Trachomatis Infections

Infographic
3/17/2017
This report characterizes the rates of Chlamydia Trachomatis (CT) during the pre-deployment, deployment, and post-deployment phases for active component members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The surveillance period was 2008 through 2015.  For incidence rates of laboratory-confirmed Chlamydia Trachomatis diagnoses, by deployment cycle and sex, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2008-2015, there were 84,783 cases for men and 54,867 cases for women. The surveillance period findings show: •	Rates of CT were highest during the pre-deployment phase for both sexes •	Males tended to have similar rates of CT across pre-, post-, and non-deployed phases •	Women had substantial rate differences between phases  The results of these analyses underscore the need for better screening and documentation of STIs during deployment to assess the true burden of disease. Learn more about rates of CT among U.S. Armed Forces by visiting Health.mil/MSMR

This report characterizes the rates of Chlamydia Trachomatis (CT) during the pre-deployment, deployment, and post-deployment phases for active component members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The surveillance period was 2008 through 2015.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch

Diabetes Mellitus

Infographic
3/17/2017
Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a group of chronic metabolic conditions characterized by high blood glucose levels resulting from a decreased ability to produce and or use insulin. DM-related metabolic abnormalities are associated with damage to various organs and tissues. From 2008 - 2015, a total of 9,092 incident cases of DM were reported among active duty service members. This infographic provides details on the overall incidence rates of type 1 and 2 DM cases per 100,000 person-years. It also provides information about service members at higher risk of diabetes. Here are some key findings from the study: •	Type 1 DM (previously known as “insulin-dependent diabetes”) overall incidence rate was 3.0 cases per 100,000 p-yrs. •	Type 2 DM ( “non-insulin-dependent diabetes) was 74.5 cases per 100,000 p-yrs. And rates doubled within each successive age group.  Service members at higher risk of diabetes are male, black, non-Hispanic, unknown race/ ethnicity, Hispanic and enlisted in the Army and Navy. Learn more by visiting Health.mil/AFHSB

Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a group of chronic metabolic conditions characterized by high blood glucose levels resulting from a decreased ability to produce and or use insulin. DM-related metabolic abnormalities are associated with damage to various organs and tissues. From 2008 - 2015, a total of 9,092 incident cases of DM were reported among active duty service members. This infographic provides details on the overall incidence rates of type 1 and 2 DM cases per 100,000 person-years. It also provides information about service members at higher risk of diabetes.

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch

Leishmaniasis

Infographic
3/17/2017
Leishmaniasis is a zoonotic disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania that are transmitted to humans by the bites of infected female sand flies. The disease remains a military medical surveillance interest because of deployments to endemic areas of the Middle East. It is also endemic in many other regions including Africa, Mexico, Southern Europe, Asia, and South and Central America. This report provides an update on the frequencies, rates, and demographic characteristics of U.S. service members who were diagnosed/ reported with leishmaniasis while expanding analysis to include information on the location of acquisition of leishmaniasis infection during a 2001-2016 surveillance period. Here are key findings from the surveillance period: •	There were 2,040 incident diagnoses/ reports of leishmaniasis among members of the U.S. Armed Forces. •	Cutaneous Leishmaniasis accounted for 61.0% of total diagnoses/ reports among active duty service members. •	71.1% of the total leishmaniasis case were diagnosed or reported during the 7 months from early autumn to spring (September – March) in the northern hemisphere. •	The majority of cases diagnosed or reported during this 7-month interval were acquired in the Middle East, South/Central America and other or unknown locations.  Learn more information at Health.mil/MSMR

Leishmaniasis is a zoonotic disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania that are transmitted to humans by the bites of infected female sand flies. This report provides an update on the frequencies, rates, and demographic characteristics of U.S. service members who were diagnosed/ reported with leishmaniasis while expanding analysis to include information on the location of acquisition of leishmaniasis infection during a 2001-2016 surveillance period.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch

March 10 is National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Infographic
3/3/2017
This graphic shows the results of routine screening for antibodies to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among both female civilian applicants for U.S. military service and female service members of the U.S. Armed Forces, active component - Army during  January 2015 through June 2016 surveillance period. 94,763 females out of 463,132 civilian applicants for U.S. military service were tested for antibodies to HIV. Out of 124 civilian applicants that were HIV positive, 10 were female. Throughout the period, seroprevalences were much higher among males than females.  During 2015 – 2016 seroprevalences dropped to zero among female applicants.  As for U.S. Armed Forces active component, 81,963 female service members out of 548,974 were tested for antibodies to HIV. Out of 120 soldiers that were HIV positive 3 were female. Annual seroprevalences for male active component Army members greatly exceed those of females. During the 2015, on average, one new HIV infection was detected among active duty army soldiers per 5,265 screening tests.  HIV-1 is the cause of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and has had major impacts on the health of populations and on healthcare systems worldwide. Of 515 active component soldiers diagnosed with HIV infections since 2011, a total of 291 (57%) were still in the military. Get tested and learn more by reading the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report at Health.Mil/MSMR.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1) is the cause of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and has had major impacts on the health of populations and on healthcare systems worldwide. This infographic provides information on routine screening for antibodies to HIV among female civilian applicants of the U.S. Military Service and U.S. Armed Forces, January 2011 – June 2016.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment

Counts, Rates, & Trends of Incedent Diagnoses of Melanoma

Infographic
3/3/2017
Melanoma is a leading cause of cancer death. This graphic shows facts from an analysis for counts, rates, and trends of incident diagnoses of Melanoma among active component military members conducted during a 10-year surveillance period from 2005 through 2014.   Although melanoma is more common among males in the general U.S. population, in this analysis, females had a higher crude rate of malignant melanoma compared to males. From 2005 – 2014, there were 1,571 malignant melanoma cancers diagnosed in the U.S. Armed Forces. Here are other key facts from the analysis: •	Among male service members, malignant melanoma was one of the most frequent cancer diagnoses after testicular cancer. •	Among females, malignant melanoma was the 2nd most frequent cancer diagnoses after breast cancer. •	White, non-Hispanic service members had a much higher crude rate of malignant melanoma relative to their counterparts in other race/ ethnicity groups. •	In general, the strongest demographic correlate of increased risk of cancer diagnosis was older age. To learn more information, visit Health.mil/AFHSB

Melanoma is a leading cause of cancer death. This infographic provides information on an analysis for the counts, rates, and trends of incident diagnoses of melanoma among active component military members. The analysis was conducted during a 10-year surveillance period from 2005 through 2014.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch

Human Physiologic Responses to Cold Exposure

Infographic
1/9/2017
Human Physiologic responses to cold exposure preserve core body temperature, but those responses may not be sufficient to prevent hypothermia if heat loss is prolonged. This infographic offers helpful information on preserving core body temperature to counter the threat from cold environments. Physiologic responses include: •	Constriction of the peripheral (superficial) vascular system – may result in non-freezing injuries or hasten the onset of actual freezing of tissues (frostbite) •	Minimizing loss of body heat •	Protecting superficial tissues Protection includes:	 •	Nutrition •	Shelter •	Physical Activity •	Protective Clothing Learn more about preserving core body temperature by reading the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report at www.Health.mil/AFHSB

Human Physiologic responses to cold exposure preserve core body temperature, but those responses may not be sufficient to prevent hypothermia if heat loss is prolonged. This infographic offers helpful information on preserving core body temperature to counter the threat from cold environments.

Recommended Content:

Winter Safety | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch

Rift Valley Fever Virus Ecology

Infographic
12/5/2016
This infographic describes Rift Valley Fever (RVF) virus ecology and how RVF infects livestock and humans.   •	First the enzootic cycle begins. It is maintained via transfer from parent mosquito to offspring. This is a local, low-level transfer of disease to livestock and happens during periods of average rainfall. •	Next, high rainfall and flooding enable Aedes mosquito breeding environments to flourish. This is followed by epizootic outbreaks, which cause abortion storms in animals, with > 90% mortality in newborns and 10-20% mortality in adults. Secondary vectors, including other mosquito genera such as Culex, can pass on the virus to humans and animals.  Spillover to humans includes exposure to blood and tissue of infected livestock and occurs during slaughter or birthing activities. Humans can also be infected with RVF via bites of infected mosquitos.

This infographic describes Rift Valley Fever (RVF) virus ecology and how RVF infects livestock and humans.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Preserving the Health of U.S. Armed Forces with DMSS and DoDSR

Infographic
7/13/2016
The Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) and the DoD Serum Repository (DoDSR) provide unprecedented capabilities for conducting comprehensive population-based surveillance of the U.S. Armed Forces while protecting the privacy and confidentiality of service members. The systems together provide glimpses of the capabilities and potential uses of public health surveillance systems of the future.  The research advantages of the DMSS and DoDSR The DMSS and DoDSR enable researchers to focus time and attention on solving methodological problems, interpreting results, producing summaries and reports.  DMSS includes personnel data, medical data, laboratory data, deployment data, and DoDSR data. Benefactors of the DMSS and DoDSR are epidemiologists, preventive medicine doctors, data analysts, DoD policy makers, Military Commanders and public health officers. Learn how to harness the full value of the DMSS and DoDSR at www.Health.mil/AFHSB

The Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) and the DoD Serum Repository (DoDSR) provide unprecedented capabilities for conducting comprehensive population-based surveillance of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | DoD Serum Repository

HIV and AIDS in the U.S. Military

Infographic
6/27/2016
June 27th is National HIV Testing Day. HIV-1 infection is a major health importance for the U.S. military. Since the start of HIV-1 military health surveillance analysis during 1990-2013, service members diagnosed with the HIV-1 infection in recent years have remained longer in U.S. Armed Forces.  There were a total of 5,227 new diagnoses in 24-years of surveillance. The August 2015 Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR) reported that “Estimated median durations of service after initial HIV-1 diagnoses ranged from 2.29 years in Cohort 1 ( 1990-1994) to 3.65 years in Cohort 4 (2005-2009). Thus, in the 15 years between 1990-1994 and 2005-2009, the median durations of service after HIV-1 diagnoses increased by 1.4 years.” Factors contributing to longer service include: •	Availability and effectiveness of HIV treatments •	Decline in stigmas associated with diagnosis of the HIV infection •	Changes in U.S. military policy that allow the LGBT community to serve in its ranks  Note: Service members who are diagnosed with HIV-1 infections, regardless of their sexual orientations, may elect to continue their military service careers.  Get tested today – it’s the only way to know. Early HIV testing helps to prevent transmission and lowers the risk of severe health complications. Follow us on Twitter for more information: @AFHSBPAGE  Also on Twitter: National HIV Testing Day #NHTD

June 27th is National HIV Testing Day. HIV-1 infection is a major health importance for the U.S. military. Since the start of HIV-1 military health surveillance analysis during 1990-2013, service members diagnosed with the HIV-1 infection in recent years have remained longer in U.S. Armed Forces.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment

The HPV Vaccine Saves Lives

Infographic
5/16/2016
The Defense Department recommends male and female military service members, ages 17-26 years, receive an HPV vaccine series to generate a robust immune response to the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV4). This graphic highlights information the benefits of the HPV vaccine. The vaccine is most effective among fully vaccinated individuals.   Cancer Prevention Facts •	HPV is the most common sexually  transmitted infection (STI) •	There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas •	Some HPV types give warts •	Some HPV types develop cancer  Effective Against STI Transmission •	The HPV vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect yourself from the virus •	The HPV vaccine provides nearly 100% protection from HPV types 6,11,16 and 18 •	HPV vaccine shows early signs of success in reducing HPV infections and related illnesses •	Protection is expected to be long-lasting  Safety Tips •	Getting your HPV vaccine and practicing safe sex such as wearing a condom may lower the risk of HPV •	Limiting the number of lifetime sex partners can also lower the risk of HPV •	When given the HPV vaccine, the body makes antibodies in response to the protection to clear it from the body  Get the Facts •	2,091 female service members aged 17-26 years received 1-3 HPV4 doses during 2006-2012, stratified by number of doses (1, 2, or 3).  Get the HPV Vaccine •	Only 22.5% of eligible service members initiated the series •	Of those, only 39.1% completed the full three-dose series as of June 2011.  Even though the 3 dose regiment provides nearly complete protection against HPV16 and HPV18, in the U.S., only 12% and 19% of female adolescents among commercial and Medicaid plans respectively complete the series.  Read HPV Facts from the CDC: https://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/IMM_Teens_HPV_Facts.pdf  Read the STI issue of the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report at Health.Mil/MSMR   Get the conversation started. Ask your healthcare provider about the HPV vaccine today. Follow us on Twitter @AFHSBPAGE and use hashtag #VaccinesWork.

The Defense Department recommends male and female military service members, ages 17-26 years, receive an HPV vaccine series to generate a robust immune response to the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV4).

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Immunizations | Men's Health | Human Papillomavirus | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Women's Health

Global Health Engagement Month #3

Infographic
12/29/2015
infographic for global health engagement

A healthy partner is a stable partner! Supporting partner nations' health system capacities is a critical element of global health engagement.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement
<< < ... 6 7 8 > >> 
Showing results 106 - 116 Page 8 of 8

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.