HomeNewsArticle Display

What to do if sick with the flu

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- In order to reduce the impact of flu on the base and conserve resources,  Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen here are required to follow isolation procedures if they come down with the flu. (U.S. Air Force photo)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- In order to reduce the impact of flu on the base and conserve resources, Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen here are required to follow isolation procedures if they come down with the flu. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Senior Airman Benjamin Stratton)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- It's that time of the year again. The first snow has already come and gone and many people are getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's also the busiest time of the year, especially for the medical treatment facility on base, because it's flu season.

In order to reduce the impact of flu on the base and conserve resources, Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen here are required to follow isolation procedures if they come down with the flu.

"This plan was implemented to limit operational impact due to influenza, limit the spread of influenza and to ensure access to medical appointments for those with potentially serious complications," said Capt. Tracy Brannock, 5th Medical Operations Squadron public health flight commander. "This protocol pertains to active duty members meeting the influenza-like illness criteria during normal duty hours."

Health officials say the flu and cold have similar symptoms, and it's important to know the difference to ensure proper care and a fast recovery time.

"Common flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting," said the captain. "The minimum criteria for the isolation plan include having a fever of 100 degrees or greater and either a cough or sore throat."

There are three steps to follow if Airmen meet the minimum criteria for quarters isolation.

"If active duty members report flu-like symptoms, supervisors or commanders have the authority to allow members to go home or remain home for up to 24 hours without being formally placed on quarters," said the captain.

"If flu symptoms persist beyond 24 hours, supervisors or commanders should instruct the member to call the medical treatment facility appointment line, or sooner if needed," she said. "A telephone consult will be initiated with a triage nurse."

The last step involves following up with the Airman, she added.

If a member's symptoms resolve prior to the end of 72 hours social isolation in quarters, the member may return to duty.

If they persist beyond 72 hours, the member should call the appointment line for possible extension of SIQ for an additional 72 hours.

If symptoms persist beyond seven days, the member should contact the medical clinic to be evaluated by a provider.

And if they change significantly or worsen at any time, the member should contact the MTF appointment line for re-triage.

It is important for Airmen to understand that these procedures may only be followed once per flu season, she said. If the member becomes ill with the flu again, he or she must be seen by a provider before being placed on quarters.

Airmen can manage their symptoms by taking an over the counter medicine such as Tylenol or Sudafed and by using facial tissues, hand sanitizer and a thermometer.

The captain noted that all patients, especially those at higher risk, should watch for emergency warning signs such as difficulty breathing, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting or flu-like symptoms which improve but then return with fever and worsening cough.

Airmen who have any of the emergency warning signs should contact the medical clinic for an urgent medical evaluation.

Commanders and supervisors are ultimately responsible for their personnel, she said. They must ensure they closely monitor their progress and intervene when necessary.

The member's unit is also responsible for updating the military personnel data system to reflect the member being on quarters status during the term of their isolation.

This is the second year the flu isolation plan is being implemented.

The 5th Security Forces Squadron's first sergeant said they used the program frequently last year.

"The plan worked really well," said Master Sgt. Kevin Denny, 5th SFS first sergeant. "It was a lot more efficient than having Airmen call and wait to get an appointment. The program allowed them to return to work a lot faster."
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.

Contact Us

To reach the Minot Air Force Base Main Directory, call: Commercial (701) 723-7979 or DSN: 453-7979.   

To request Public Affairs support, please fill out an Air Force Form 833 and email to the Minot AFB Public Affairs workflow mailbox

Unfortunately, we are not accepting marquee requests since our marquee board is down for an undetermined amount of time. Thank you for understanding.

FacebookFacebook
InstagramInstagram
TwitterTwitter
FlickrFlickr
YouTubeYouTube