National Public Health Week

  • Published
  • By Public Health
  • 97th Medical Group Public Health
National Public Health Week 2-6 April 2018
During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings communities together to recognize the contributions of Public Health workers and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. The theme of this year is “Changing Our Future Together”. Your Altus Air Force Base Public Health team is joining this campaign and stands ready to prevent disease, disability, and premature death of our base beneficiaries. We want to help “Change the Future” of your health!

Chlamydia is NOT a flower
The truth is, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can affect ANYONE regardless of their age, sex, rank, or marital status. Unprotected sexual contact can lead to a wide array of infections such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Herpes or even HIV. The sooner you know your status, the better you can protect your health as well as your partner. It’s important as military members to realize that not all our medical checkups include STI testing; ask your provider if you would like to be tested. To prevent the spread of STIs, practice safe measures such as abstinence, vaccination (Hepatitis B and Human Papilloma Virus), mutual monogamy, reduced number of partners, and correct and consistent use of condoms.

What’s the Buzz?
During the spring and summer seasons, you’ll notice Public Health placing several mosquito traps across base. This is because the Texoma region is home to the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitos, known as the culprits responsible for Zika Virus, as well as the Culex mosquito, responsible for the endemic West Nile Virus. The best ways to prevent the bite and spread of vector borne diseases such as Zika and West Nile Virus are to wear long sleeves and pants, use insect repellent such as DEET, put window screens in your house, use air conditioning when available, and turn over exterior containers such as tires and toys that may hold water.

Pass the Salmonella
This picnic season, avoid the stomach issues and make sure your guests are served safe and sanitary food to begin with. Just four simple steps: (1) CLEAN. Wash your hands and surfaces often.
(2) SEPARATE. Don’t cross contaminate raw and ready to eat foods, such as uncooked fish and vegetables for a salad. (3) COOK. 145°F for whole cuts of beef, pork, veal and lamb; 160°F for ground meats; 165°F for all poultry; 165°F for all leftovers and casseroles. (4) CHILL. Refrigerate below 40°F promptly (within 2 hours).

Blow Out the Candles
Go ahead and sing “Happy Birthday” twice in a row! 20 seconds is how long it takes to wash your hands the right way. Studies have shown that handwashing can prevent 1 in 3 diarrhea related sicknesses and 1 in 5 respiratory infections, such as the flu season that hit so hard this year. Step 1: Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Step 2: Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hand, including palms, back, fingers, between fingers, and under nails for 20 seconds. Step 4: Rinse your hands under clean, running water. Step 5: Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at or call Altus Air Force Base Public Health as 580-481-5488.