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Preventive Medicine
Welcome to the MEDDAC Preventive Medicine Climatic Injury Awareness and Prevention site.

While a number of different heat and cold weather related injuries are emphasized during certain parts of the year, we would like to remind you that given the right conditions, an individual may experience any type of heat or cold weather related injury at anytime. An individual may experience more than one type of heat or cold related injury at once.

HOT Weather Information
Heat Stress Risk Levels



Heat injuries are a serious threat to the health of soldiers and civilians on Fort Riley. This website provides information that will enable those who work in the heat, as well as the leaders and supervisors of these individuals, to play an active role in heat injury prevention.

Heat Injury
For more information about Preventing and Treatment of Heat Injuries and Risks for Heat Injury please click on the following links:

Stop Ticks!
Stop Ticks! Gardening, camping, hiking, just playing outdoors:
These are all great Spring and Summertime activities, but don't forget about the ticks that may be in the same environment. Tick-borne diseases can occur worldwide. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.

Recalled news: checking product recall information
Remember hearing about lead found in children’s toys and jewelry? Every month there are new lists of product recalls and recall alerts. Click here for information about finding information about product recalls.

FDA warns against cold drugs for kids under 2
Serious side effects can occur from nonprescription medications

WASHINGTON - Parents should not give sniffling babies and toddlers over-the-counter cough and cold medicines they’re too risky for tots so small, the government warned Thursday.

Over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold products should not be used to treat infants and children less than 2 years of age because serious and potentially life-threatening side effects can occur from such use, the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.

The FDA cited rare reports of deaths, convulsions and rapid heart rates, adding that the medicines have not been shown to be safe or effective in children under 2.

The agency has not yet decided if the widely sold medicines made by companies such as Wyeth and Johnson & Johnson are appropriate for children in other age groups. Officials still are evaluating data on use in kids ages 2 to 11.

Expect a decision on that by spring, the deadline necessary to notify manufacturers before they begin production for next fall’s cold season.

For now, the FDA is warning parents to avoid these drugs for children under age 2 because serious and potentially life-threatening side effects can occur.

It’s not the first warning about cold remedies and tots: Drug companies last October quit selling dozens of versions targeted specifically to babies and toddlers. That same month, the FDA’s own scientific advisers voted that the drugs don’t even work in small children and shouldn’t be used in preschoolers, either anyone under age 6.

Thursday’s advisory marks the government’s first ruling on the issue: Don’t give the drugs to children under 2. And it comes now because the FDA is worried that parents haven’t gotten that message despite all the publicity last fall.

They may still have infant-targeted drugs at home, or they may buy drugs meant for older children to give to hacking tots instead, said Dr. Charles Ganley, FDA’s nonprescription drugs chief.

We still have a concern, Ganley said. It falls out of people’s consciousness. We’re still in the middle of cold season right now.

Ganley said he is particularly concerned by recent surveys that suggest many parents don’t believe OTC cold remedies could pose a problem, especially if they’ve used them with an older child who seemed to get better.

The advisory is a good first step, said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Baltimore’s health commissioner, who petitioned the FDA last year to end use of these nonprescription remedies by children under 6, a move backed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The reason: There’s no evidence that these oral drugs actually ease cold symptoms in children so young some studies suggest they do no good at all. And while serious side effects are fairly rare, they do occur. Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year reported that more than 1,500 babies and toddlers wound up in emergency rooms over a two-year period because of the drugs.

It’s one thing if you’re curing cancer, but we’re talking about a self-limiting illness, said Sharfstein. If there’s really no evidence of benefit, you don’t want to risk the rare problem. Then you’re left with tragedy that you can’t justify.

Pandemic Influenza!
What I Need to Know
An influenza (flu) pandemic is a widespread outbreak of disease that occurs when a new flu virus appears that people have not been exposed to before. Pandemics are different from seasonal outbreaks of influenza. Seasonal flu outbreaks are caused by viruses that people have already been exposed to; flu shots are available to help prevent widespread illness, and impacts on society are less severe. Pandemic flu spreads easily from person to person and can cause serious illness because people do not have immunity to the new virus. A pandemic may come and go in waves, each of which can last for months at a time. Everyday life could be disrupted due to people in communities across the country becoming ill at the same time. These disruptions could include everything from school and business closings to interruption of basic services such as public transportation and health care. An especially severe influenza pandemic could lead to high levels of illness, death, social disruption, and economic loss. Pandemics are global in nature, but their impact is local. When the next pandemic strikes, as it surely will, it is likely to touch the lives of every individual, family, and community. Our task is to make sure that when this happens, we will be a Nation prepared.
Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Importance and Benefits of Being Prepared It is difficult to predict when the next influenza pandemic will occur or how severe it will be. The effects of a pandemic can be lessened if preparations are made ahead of time. When a pandemic starts, everyone around the world could be at risk. The United States has been working closely with other countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen systems to detect outbreaks of influenza that might cause a pandemic. State, tribal, and local governments are developing, improving, and testing their plans for an influenza pandemic. Businesses, schools, universities, and other community organizations are preparing plans as well. As you begin your individual or family planning, you may want to review your state’s planning efforts ( and those of your local public health and emergency preparedness officials. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other federal agencies are providing funding, advice, and other support to your state. The federal government will provide up-to-date information and guidance to the public if an influenza pandemic unfolds. For reliable, accurate, and timely information, visit the federal government’s official Web site at The benefits of preparation will be many. States and communities will be better prepared for any disaster. Preparation will bring peace of mind and the confidence that we are ready to fight a flu pandemic. As you plan, it is important to think about the challenges that you might face, particularly if a pandemic is severe. It may take time to find the answers to these challenges. The following are some situations that could be caused by a severe pandemic and possible ways to address them. A series of checklists have been prepared to help guide those efforts, to organize our national thinking and bring consistency to our efforts. You will find two checklists (Pandemic Flu Planning Checklist for Individuals and Families; Family Emergency Health Information Sheet) to help you plan at

Be Prepared Stock a supply of water and food. During a pandemic you may not be able to get to a store. Even if you can get to a store, it may be out of supplies. Public waterworks services may also be interrupted. Stocking supplies can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters. Store foods that:
  1. are nonperishable (will keep for a long time) and don’t require refrigeration
  2. are easy to prepare in case you are unable to cook
  3. require little or no water, so you can conserve water for drinking
Stay Healthy Take common-sense steps to limit the spread of germs. Make good hygiene a habit.
  1. Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Put used tissues in a waste basket.
  4. Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve if you don’t have a tissue.
  5. Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  6. Stay at home if you are sick. It is always a good idea to practice good health habits.
  7. Eat a balanced diet. Be sure to eat a variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain products. Also include low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, and beans. Drink lots of water and go easy on salt, sugar, alcohol, and saturated fat.
  8. Exercise on a regular basis and get plenty of rest.
For More Information and a complete booklet on family preparations visit:
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hotline, 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636), is available in English and Spanish, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TTY: 1-888-232-6348. Questions can be e-mailed to
  • Links to state departments of public health can be found at

    Tobacco Cessation
    Are you ready to quit, yet?
    Have you cut back on the number of cigarettes, or number of times you chew, each day? Has a friend or loved one said that they wished you would stop using tobacco? Have you given any thought to having a lung disease like emphysema, throat cancer or lung cancer when you're older because you use tobacco? It's time.
    Active Duty Service Members and their families, and retirees, can get FREE tobacco cessation counseling and medication through the Preventive Medicine Service.
    To get the medications, you must enroll in the counseling program and do your best to complete all the session. There are four sessions -- one a week for four weeks -- and enough medication to last 12 weeks if you complete all 4 sessions. Think of the money you can save not buying tobacco.
    IACH now offers Chantix for smoking cessation. Chantix Handouts

    Think about having better breath!
    Think about being healthy.
    Call 239-7323 for information and to enroll.
    Information about Tobacco Use Among Soldiers

    Reporting Vaccine Side Effects
    Vaccines are a great way for us to stay healthy. Vaccines work by strengthening the body's immune system. They prevent disease and illnesses but sometimes have side effects.
    Most people don't realize they can report these side effects. The program is called the vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS).
    VAERS is a cooperative program for vaccine safety between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). VAERS is a post-marketing safety surveillance program, also known as Phase IV Study, collecting information about possible side effects that occur after the administration of US licensed vaccines. The website provides a nationwide mechanism by which adverse events following immunization may be reported, analyzed and made available to the public. The VAERS website also provides a vehicle for disseminating vaccine safety-related information to parents/guardians, healthcare providers, vaccine manufacturers, state vaccine programs, and other constituencies.

    Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination available
    The vaccine, Gardasil®, is manufactured by the Merck Corporation. It is nearly 100% effective in protecting uninfected girls and women from infection by the four major types of HPV that cause abnormal pap smears, genital warts and cervical cancer.

    The HPV vaccine should be targeted to 11 and 12 year old girls, but may be safely given to those as young as 9 years and to women up to age 26.

    HPV vaccination is available at Irwin Army Community Hospital with a prescription from a healthcare provider. Interested military families should discuss the possibility of vaccination at their next available appointment.

    More information is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or from the Preventive Medicine Service at 239-7386.

  • Contacts
    Preventive Medicine
    Main Office
    (785) 239-7323
    (785) 239-7386
    Chief, Environmental Health
    (785) 239-7516
    NCOIC, Environmental Health
    (785) 239-7479

    Emergency Contacts
    Hospital Front Desk
    (785) 239-7000
    (785) 239-7667
    Emergency Room
    Police Departments
    Military Police
    (785) 239-6767
    Junction City
    (785) 762-5912
    (785) 537-2112

    Leader's Information

    Cold Weather Injury Prevention
    Weight Control Program
    Commander's Guide for Heat
    Heat Acclimatization Guide
    Heat Injury Prevention Card
    Heat Injury Prevention Program
    Indentifying Cause, Signs, and Treatment of Heat Injuries

    Class Information
    Please contact Preventive Medicine to request a date/time for one of the following classes:
    · Cold Weather Injury Prevention
    · Safe Food Handler
    · Sexually Transmitted Illnesses and Disease

    Preventive Medicine also offers the following services:
    · Water Trailer Inspections
    · Food Safety Courses
    · Field Sanitation Services
    · STD Prevention Courses

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    This Web site provides an information regarding Irwin Army Community Hospital and its services. Irwin Army community Hospital is a U.S. Army Medical Department hospital. This website is intended for interested members of the public, news media and Army Medical Department beneficiaries.

    Irwin Army Community Hospital
    600 Caisson Hill Road, Fort Riley, Kansas 66442
    (785) 239-7000