Friday, December 18, 2009

PACOM Takes Preventive Measures in Combating H1N1

Have you received your "flu shot", yet? How about your 2009-H1N1 "Swine Flu" vaccine?

2009 is a unique influenza year, in that two different influenza vaccinations are being administered: the seasonal influenza vaccine and the 2009-H1N1 vaccine. Neither vaccine is cross-protective for the other circulating influenza virus types, which means that only seasonal influenza vaccine protects against the seasonal influenza viruses, and only the H1N1 vaccine protects against the 2009-H1N1 virus.

What is 2009-H1N1?

According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), 2009-H1N1 (sometimes called "swine flu") is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. This virus is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of 2009-H1N1 flu was underway.

What is PACOM doing to prevent the spread of H1N1?

PACOM understands the importance of preventing the spread of H1N1, and as a critical force health protection measure, the 2009-H1N1 influenza vaccine is mandatory for all active duty personnel, unless medically waived.

In the video below, Rear Adm. Mike Anderson, US Pacific Command Surgeon, discusses how PACOM is taking precautionary steps in combating the spread of H1N1. He also added that the good news is that the virus has not caused a significant operational impact to date .

Great reminders from PACOM's Surgeon:

After receiving the vaccine, Rear Adm. Anderson reminds all of us that it is still important to continue to protect ourselves and our families from H1N1 by practicing good hand washing, good sneeze etiquette, and staying home if ill (with your supervisor's permission!) , especially if you have a fever of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (or greater).

For more information, we invite you to visit Tripler Army Medical Center's Fight the Flu website, or leave us a comment.

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