Get your mandatory influenza immunization on October 12 or 13

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Matwey
  • 166th Airlift Wing Public Affairs, Delaware Air National Guard
Flu shots (influenza immunizations) will be given to members of the Delaware Air National Guard today and tomorrow, October 12 and 13, at the following locations and times:

Today, Friday October 12, at the Medical Clinic, Building 2801, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Note: Members MUST be in a military duty status.

Saturday, October 13, during our Unit Training Assembly, at the Medical Clinic, Building 2801, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and in the old Main Hangar (Small Air Terminal), Building 2815 (Training Room), from 8:15 a.m. to Noon.

Members will receive their annual flu immunizations so they stay healthy and remain mission ready. Normally the vaccines are given as a nasal mist spray, but certain individuals get a traditional needle depending on various factors.

Seasonal influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The flu can cause mild to severe illness and, at times, can lead to death. Flu symptoms spread person-to-person through coughing, sneezing and personal contact.

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

Every year the influenza virus results in three to five million cases of severe illness, and approximately 250,000-500,000 deaths worldwide. Here in the U.S., approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized each year because of the flu, and 36,000 people die annually because of the virus and its complications.

Children and infants have the highest rate of infection and often bring the illness home to the rest of the family. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all persons six months and older be vaccinated to prevent the flu.

So how contagious is the flu? People with the flu can spread it to others as far as six feet away. Experts believe the flu viruses are spread by droplets when people cough, sneeze and talk. A secondary route of transmission may occur when an uninfected person touches an object previously contaminated by someone with the virus.

Flu symptoms start one to four days after the virus enters the body. This means you may pass the flu virus to others before you even realize you're sick yourself.

(Note: this article contains information from a Whiteman Air Force Base story, a Barksdale AFB story, and a Hanscom AFB Flu Update factsheet)