This winter, America is experiencing an early flu season with flu cases surging across the country. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is responding vigorously to the nationwide outbreak to protect the health of all Veterans and staff in the VA health system.

All of the VHA medical facilities around the country have flu prevention and treatment as one of our top priorities.

According to our latest Influenza Surveillance Data, which is reported weekly, influenza activity continues to increase in our inpatient and outpatient settings. Nearly one-third of persons being tested for flu at VA facilities tested positive last week.

VHA has delivered over 1.62 million influenza vaccinations since September of 2012. We are continuing to offer vaccination against flu and promote the fact that “It is not too late to get your flu shot!” Last week, January 7-11, was VA Staff Influenza Vaccination Week to encourage all of our health care personnel to receive the flu vaccine.

In a special focus on our Women Veterans, our top clinical experts are holding teleconferences next week with our nation-wide staff on vaccine efficacy and guidance for women, focusing on vaccinations surrounding pregnancy and the importance of flu vaccine.

Every day, we continue to vaccinate against influenza.  Clinicians are providing antiviral medications for patients suspected of having influenza who are at risk for flu complications.

In addition, we continue to promote hand and respiratory hygiene. In our hospitals, we keep patients who have an acute respiratory illness away from others and we keep sick staff and visitors away from the health care environment.

For additional in-depth information on flu and other prevention measures, visit VA’s influenza website. There are additional resources at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website, including the flu surveillance and activity map.

Dr. Victoria Davey is the chief officer of public health at in the Veterans Health Administration.

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Published on Jan. 16, 2013

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  1. Tim January 24, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I have been going tr=hrough the VA for over 30 years …and it has been hit and miss…I use one just outside Cjicago. If you scream and yell…the tend to pay more attention. I also had an MRI done on a wrist that has been hurting for almost a year…when I went back to see the doc to get the findings on the MRI …there was no doc for me to see! I saw a nurse…she went to a doc to have him interrprit and this is the same doc who minutes earlier told one of the other nurses…” I dont know anything about hands,knees, hips…I do shoulders…and this is the guy who said my MRI was inconclusive! So I still have the pain…sent to physical therapy! AGAIN! and I have alot more stories…one better then the next…if it happens to me all the time…who else does it happen to??? NO ONE CARES! It was friday afternoon…

  2. clair tozier January 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    In the Philippine, the VA Outpatient Clinic is out of the flu vaccine as I tried to get the flu shot. This clinic don’t care about veterans. Going on seven months and still no doctor’s report from my lower/upper G.I. procedure done.

  3. Amber Anderton January 16, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    I contracted whooping cough and went into the ER to get treated. They told me it was the flu and just to walk it off. I am glad I got a second opinion. The quality of the care the VA gives is sub par at best.

  4. michael sandstoe January 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Good afternoon…………………..thanks for the info.

    I will be going to Loma Linda this next week for my eye exam.
    Can I get a flu shot while I am there?
    Can my wife also get one even though she is not a vet?

    thanks for you help. Michael

  5. Dan F January 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Could someone tell me why it is not required that VA employees receive the shots. Great way to have someone infected and symptomless for a short period to infect dozens if not hundreds is have staff not protected…or, do they know something we don’t?

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