By MEDCOMNovember 22, 2009
Stay Army Strong-Fight Novel A (H1N1) Influenza
What is it'
Novel A (H1N1) influenza virus is a new strain of influenza virus that first appeared in Mexico and the United States in April 2009 and has since spread globally. Just like the seasonal flu, the H1N1 virus is contagious and can spread through respiratory droplets from person to person when a person coughs or sneezes; or touches something with the flu virus on it and then touches their own eyes, nose or mouth.
What has the Army done'
To ensure readiness, the Army is providing the H1N1 flu vaccine to active-duty Soldiers and all other mission-essential personnel. The Army recommends vaccination for all others-family members, retirees, and DoD civilians. For TRICARE Prime enrollees, point-of-service charges and the requirement to obtain a referral from their primary care manager is suspended Oct. 1, 2009 through April 30, 2010, to allow them to obtain the vaccine from any TRICARE non-network authorized provider.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future'
A shortage of the H1N1 vaccine is not expected however, availability and demand can be unpredictable. There is a possibility that initially, the vaccine may be available in limited quantities. The Center for Disease Control recommends certain groups of people receive the vaccine when it first becomes available: pregnant women, persons who live with or care for children younger than 6 months, healthcare and emergency medical services personnel, persons ages 6 months and 24 years old, persons 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for H1N1 or other flu-related complications due to chronic heath disorders or a compromised immune system.
Why is knowing about H1N1 important to the Army'
Maintaining optimum health, safety and well-being of Soldiers, family members and Army civilians is essential to Army readiness. Stay Army Strong-Fight H1N1. Take these everyday steps to help prevent the spread of H1N1 flu:
Aca,!Ac Prepare for H1N1 flu as you would for the seasonal flu;
Aca,!Ac Get vaccinated as soon as you can;
Aca,!Ac Wash hands often with warm soap and water or cleanse using an alcohol base hand sanitizer;
Aca,!Ac Cover your nose and mouth whenever you cough or sneeze;
Aca,!Ac Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth (germs spread this way);
Aca,!Ac Avoid close contact with sick people;
Aca,!Ac Stay home if you are sick. Call your doctor who can decide treatment.
U.S. Army Medical Department
Military Vaccines Web site