Tripler prepares for flu season

| August 29, 2014 | 0 Comments
Sgt. Jonathan Lafleur (right), allergy immunizations technician, Tripler Army Medical Center, gives the influenza vaccination to Spc. Tyler Warren during a visit to TAMC, Aug. 18.

Sgt. Jonathan Lafleur (right), allergy immunizations technician, Tripler Army Medical Center, gives the influenza vaccination to Spc. Tyler Warren during a visit to TAMC, Aug. 18.

Story and photos by
Spc. Paxton Busch
Pacific Regional Medical Command
HONOLULU — August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and Tripler Army Medical Center is promoting the importance of immunizations, including the influenza vaccination.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, influenza, otherwise known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that can cause mild to severe illnesses and can result in hospitalization or death.

“Although we don’t traditionally think of it as a killer, it can be particularly devastating to those that are immune compromised, in poor health, very young or the elderly, or impact an organization,” stated Staff Sgt. Michael Schlag, noncommissioned officer in charge of Allergy Immunization, TAMC.

The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get the flu shot early to help protect against the most active strains of the flu all year-round.

In addition, the vaccine is strongly recommended for all pregnant women, regardless of what trimester they are in.

Although Hawaii influenza trends show the majority of cases happen over a three-month time frame (winter-spring), the amount of international visitors creates the need to be vigilant all year long.
“As all of us know, Hawaii is a top tourist destination. We get people coming from all over the world all year long. Flu season in other parts of the world does not always match what we traditionally see in the U.S.,” stated Schlag.

Influenza symptoms may include abrupt onset of fever, muscle pain, sore throat, nonproductive cough, runny nose and headache. They generally last two to three days and will be developed by 50 percent of infected persons.

“Making sure you get your yearly influenza vaccination will help ensure you not only protect yourself, but those around you. The better the protected the population is as a whole, the less chance that influenza can quickly pass through locally,” stated Schlag.

TAMC’s Immunization and Allergy team consists of (from left) Sgt. 1st Class Juan Rivera, Col. Stephen Marks, Staff Sgt. Michael Schlag, Sgt. Jonathan Lafleur, Pfc. Jocelyn Favors, Spc. Jennie Parker, Capt. Luane Covington, Col. Conrad Belnap and Natalie Ruter.

TAMC’s Immunization and Allergy team consists of (from left) Sgt. 1st Class Juan Rivera, Col. Stephen Marks, Staff Sgt. Michael Schlag, Sgt. Jonathan Lafleur, Pfc. Jocelyn Favors, Spc. Jennie Parker, Capt. Luane Covington, Col. Conrad Belnap and Natalie Ruter.

Learn More
For information on getting your flu shot, contact your primary care manager and visit facebook.com/Tripler ArmyMedicalCenter.
You can also call the 24-hour Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-TRICARE.

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Category: Community, Health

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