Within America’s military, there is a never-ending emphasis on force readiness, which many associate with important things like equipment maintenance, training for personnel, and of course, the continued development of new, more advanced weapons platforms. However, from a logistical side, “readiness” means much more than ensuring our troops have the right gear and are trained in how to use them; it also means ensuring military personnel remain healthy enough to fight.

At home, we face similar challenges, and although we may not regularly use the words like “readiness” or “deployable” in our assessment of our own health and that of our loved ones, we are still left making these same types of observations.

“I can’t make it to work, my whole family is sick,” is the civilian equivalent of, “our unit is non-deployable because illness has crippled our combat effectiveness.”

This year, influenza, or the flu as it’s commonly referred to, has been particularly widespread — so much so that the Federal Government’s Center for Disease Control has issued warnings about infection rates in 49 states and Puerto Rico. To date, 30 children have died due to influenza infection this flu season, and the numbers are expected to continue to climb.