PENSACOLA, Fla. – Flu season is rapidly approaching and Naval Hospital Pensacola is preparing for annual influenza immunizations.
While winter is generally the season associated with the flu, the exact timing and duration of the flu season varies and outbreaks can occur as early as October.
“The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mary Graves, department head for Preventative Medicine, NHP. “The flu can range from a mild illness where an individual just feels run down to a severe illness requiring hospitalization.”
The most common method of flu transmission is person to person. A person infected by the flu is able to transmit the illness through coughing, sneezing and talking. The second most common method of transmission is when a person comes into contact with a contaminated surface and touches their mouth or nose.
There are several ways to protect against the flu, but the most effective way is to get the influenza immunization.
“The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each year,” said Graves. “A new flu vaccine is produced every August based on the flu strains that are circulating around the world. Even if you got a flu shot back in January, you need a new one now to protect yourself this year.”
Aside from just getting the vaccine, there are other ways to decrease the odds of contracting the flu.
“Additional steps to protect yourself from infection include hand washing and staying away from sick people,” said Sheila Jones, infection prevention program manager, NHP. “If you become sick, stay home to prevent spreading the flu to others.”
Even through the practice of proper hand hygiene and being cognizant of others who may be sick, having the vaccine is still the most effective way of protection against the flu.
Naval Hospital Pensacola will be holding a drive-thru flu vaccine clinic for all TRICARE beneficiaries in the next few weeks to kick off this year’s immunization season. Specific information will be in the Gosport or check the hospital’s Facebook page (keyword NavalHospitalPensacola) for updates.
LEAVE A COMMENT
PENSACOLA, FL, US
This work, Flu season approaching, by PO1 James Stenberg, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.