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Pandemic Swine Flu – H1N1 in the U.S. Military

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The Department of Defense is following its civilian counterparts with reporting on the pandemic swine flu’s effects its personnel and dependents.

All of the cases in the DoD report that are in the United States are also part of a state report. Just as with the states and the CDC, there can be a delay in the data being reported between sources.

Since April 1, military facilities have treated 1,327 cases of pandemic swine flu, also called pandemic novel H1N1. 722 of these patients have been active duty personnel. 31 cases have been found in recruits, with the Marines having just over half of the cases.

These military facilities also treat family members and retirees. Only 14 retirees have been found with pandemic influenza and 510 dependents.

Colonel Jonathan Jaffin, director, Health Policy and Services, Office of the Surgeon General, discussed the military’s response to the pandemic in a recent Bloggers’ Roundtable. One of the points he made was that they are not just looking for pandemic flu, but a wide variety of illnesses that are common in situation where people are in close quarters. ILI’s (influenza like illnesses) and noroviruses are two of the illnesses that can break out aboard ship or in a barracks.

Jaffin stressed the importance of service members not reporting for duty if they are ill. He reviewed a number of preventative measures such as frequent hand washing.

Col. Jaffin revealed that all soldiers are being screened for pandemic H1N1 before they are sent overseas. The screening is also being done on returning troops from certain theaters of operation. In response to a question, he was able to report that the pandemic flu had not affected any Army operations.

The following images are from the most recent DoD report. Please note the median ages for family and retirees. These are much younger ages than are seen with seasonal influenza.

DoD statistics of pandemic swine flu patients treat at military facilities 6-23-2009

DoD statistics of pandemic swine flu patients treat at military facilities 6-23-2009

DoD report of clusters of pandemic swine flu activity in the military 6-23-2009

DoD report of clusters of pandemic swine flu activity in the military 6-23-2009

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