We are entering the prime of the flu season, and with the holiday travel the number of positive influenza test and influenza-like illnesses continue to increase across the Army population and their family members, almost doubling the number of cases from last week to this week.
This flu season is affecting the family members under 18 years old most significantly, comprising over half of the total positive tests for this week. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine. It is still no too late to get the vaccine for protection during the upcoming peak flu months of January and February.
Moreover, pregnant women should be vaccinated every year against the flu, as they are at an increased risk for serious flu complications. The vaccine is safe for immunization during any trimester of pregnancy and can protect both mother and their babies from the flu.
Flu vaccinations are still available at Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic, Immunization Clinic, on a walk-in basis Monday – Friday 07:30 am to 4:00 pm or if more convenient at your local pharmacy, as a TRICARE benefit.
By Dr. Mark A. Lovell, MD, MPH, Chief, Department Preventive and Occupational Medicine Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic