Flu Watchboard offers DOD-related info on flu outbreak

  • Published
  • By Air Force News Service
With just a few clicks of the mouse, servicemembers, civilians and families interested in learning more about the H1N1 Flu outbreak, otherwise known as swine flu, can access a variety of resources on the Web.

Department of Defense officials created and maintain a Pandemic Influenza Watchboard, available at www.dod.mil/pandemicflu.

Also used during the H5N1 Flu outbreak, otherwise known as avian flu, the watchboard includes flu-related news articles, guidance from DOD leaders and links to information from other government agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Symptoms of H1N1 are similar to those of the common flu: sore throat, fever and overall body aches such as painful joints. Following guidelines set by CDC experts, anyone who experiences such indicators should contact his or her health care provider. To prevent infecting other people, individuals with these symptoms should stay home from work or school, as well as other public areas.

Air Force medical treatment facility commanders and public health personnel have been directed to increase surveillance for flu-like symptoms, and immediately report suspected cases of swine flu through their established service reporting systems, officials said.

CDC officials recommend individuals incorporate simple, but most effective, practices into their daily hygiene to prevent the spread of H1N1 and other strains of flu. They include:

1. Hand-washing with soap and warm or hot water -- cold water is not as effective for killing germs.
2. Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer to wash hands when soap and water are not available.
3. Covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
4. Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
5. Avoiding close contact with people who are sick; avoiding close contact with healthy people if you are sick

For more information, the Air Force Surgeon General's office recommends using guidelines set by the CDC and civilian medical community to stay healthy. These guidelines mirror the same principles issued during the fall and winter flu seasons, and can be accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu 

Original story link: http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123146830