Lopez, Army News Service
D.C. — While emphasizing caution, the surgeon general of the
Army said there’s no reason to be alarmed by the H1N1 influenza
(also known as swine flu).
important for you all to understand that there is no cause for panic
or alarm," wrote Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, U.S. Army surgeon
general in his blog. "Antiviral drugs are available in the event
you become ill; and there are preventive measures you can take to stay
H1N1 flu virus has been confirmed in such places as Mexico, the United
States, New Zealand, Canada, Spain and the United Kingdom. There have
been deaths in Mexico.
H1N1 flu usually occurs in pigs, though certain strains can be passed
to humans — and from human to human.
most-recent cases of the flu appear to have the ability to be passed
from person to person and have resulted in a number of cases in the
United States as well as widespread disease in certain parts of
Mexico," Schoomaker said. "It is likely that this flu will
spread to many if not all parts of the United States."
symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to other kinds of flu, including
fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
In some cases, there also may be vomiting and diarrhea.
H1N1 flu is passed from person to person much like other forms of the
flu, Schoomaker said.
people catch swine flu the same way they catch the regular flu,"
he said. "You can catch swine flu by coming in contact with
droplets from infected people after they sneeze or cough. This can
occur by being in the path of a sneeze or cough or touching something
that has those droplets on it and then touching your mouth, nose or
like Tamiflu and Relenza can treat the swine flu, Schoomaker said.
These medications are not available over the counter, however, but by
you have (H1N1) flu and need treatment, treatment should start within
two days after you begin to feel sick," Schoomaker said. Those
with chronic medical conditions are at risk for more severe illness
from the H1N1 flu, he said.
to Schoomaker, neither the Army nor the overall military population
are showing any unusual spike in illness that might indicate H1N1 flu.
Additionally, the general said, he and other senior medical officials
in the joint community are staying abreast of the issue in order to
keep the force healthy.
assured that my staff and I are working the (H1N1) flu issue closely
with the Joint Staff surgeon, the assistant secretary of Defense for
Health Affairs, the other military services, Health and Human
Services, and Centers for Disease Control and Preventive
Medicine," Schoomaker said.
servicemembers are at no increased risk of infection, according to
information released by the Surgeon General’s Office.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Agency issued a nationwide public
health emergency declaration in response to H1N1 influenza. This
declaration, made under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act,
helps HHS prepare for prevention and mitigation activities by enabling
Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorizations of drugs,
devices or medical tests under certain circumstances. For more
information, visit the Web site http://www.hhs.gov.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta recommends U.S. travelers
avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico because officials are
concerned continued travel there presents a serious risk for further
outbreaks of H1N1 flu in the United States. The CDC currently
recommends people follow the same basic steps to mitigate the effects
of H1N1 flu that they would to lessen the risk of any type of flu.
Cover their mouths and noses with a tissue when they sneeze. Throw the
tissue in the trash after use.
hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or
sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.
touching eyes, noses or mouths, which can spread germs.
contact with sick people as influenza is thought to spread mainly from
person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
you’re sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with
others to keep from infecting them.
regularly updates the information. For more information about the
travel warning, visit the Web site http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/contentSwineFluMexico.aspx.
Changes to the recommendation or updates will be posted to the Web
also can check the READY Army Web site at Visit http://www.ready.army.mil.
This has a checklist of steps that can be followed in case of H1N1 flu
or a flu pandemic.
you think you have (H1N1) flu, contact your health care provider. He
or she will be able to determine if you need testing or
treatment," Schoomaker said.
more information about H1N1 flu or other health-related issues in the
Fort McCoy community, call Barb Stafslien, Nurse Practitioner for the
Fort McCoy Occupational Health Nursing Office at 608-388-3209/2414.
(Some information in this
story also from the U.S. Army Medical Command, the Centers for Disease
Control and Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office.)