Military Flu Screening IDs Texas Swine Flu Cases
The Defense Department’s worldwide influenza monitoring program and decisive action by the medical staff at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, is being credited with helping to identify two cases of swine flu early to help prevent a potential spread.
Two 16-year-old boys, both military family members and students at Steele High School in Cibolo, Texas, reported to the Randolph Military Clinic in mid-April suffering from fever, coughs and chills. Air Force Lt. Col. Gregory York, deputy commander of the 12th Medical Group, said both exhibited “classic flu-like symptoms.”
Rather than simply sending the boys home to rest and hydrate, their doctors took the extra step of harvesting “nasal washes” and submitting them for testing through the Defense Department’s Worldwide Influenza Surveillance Program, York explained.
The Air Force established the lab-based influenza surveillance program in 1976 at what is now Brooks City-Base, also in San Antonio. The lab routinely monitors suspected flu cases from military bases around the world, as well as from targeted “sentinel sites” to detect local respiratory outbreaks and emerging strains.
The lab identified both boys’ cultures as “Influenza A,” but couldn’t pin down the specific influenza sub-type. That automatically triggered staffers there to fly the cultures to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for additional testing. Those tests confirmed late last week that the cultures were swine flu.
As the testing was conducted, both boys were at their homes, getting bed rest and drinking fluids as their doctors had advised. But even more importantly, York said, they minimized contact with other people â€“ critical to “breaking that chain” of spreading the contagious flu virus.
Both boys have made full recoveries, and no additional cases have been identified at the Randolph clinic, York said.
But that’s not stopping the staff at Randolph from taking a strong, pro-active approach to preventing further infections, York added. In addition to an aggressive base education program being conducted in cooperation with the CDC and Texas Department of Health, the clinic is screening all incoming patients who exhibit flu-like symptoms.
Patients with fevers of 100.5 degrees or higher or sore throats and coughs are issued protective masks and isolated from other patients to be evaluated for influenza, York said.
While emphasizing that Randolph is at no higher risk than anywhere else, York said the staff has become especially vigilant in trying to identify those with possible symptoms as early as possible. “Our antennas are up a bit higher,” he said.
“Surveillance and infection control are the keys to avoiding contact and the spread of the virus,” York said. “It all falls on prevention and being on top of this to identify individuals up front as fast as possible to break the chain.”
Story by Donna Miles
Table of contents for Swine flu outbreak 2009
- Swine Flu Outbreak
- WHO Press Release on Swine Flu
- New Swine Flu Cases in Kansas
- Swine Flu Update – 04-26-2009
- Canada Has 6 Cases of Swine Flu
- CDC Briefing on Swine Flu for 4-26-2009
- Swine Flu Update: Early Morning 4-27-2009
- Swine Flu Found in Scotland
- WHO Declares Stage 4 Influenza Pandemic Alert
- New Swine Flu Cases in California
- Swine Flu Report – Early Morning 4-28-2009
- Military Flu Screening IDs Texas Swine Flu Cases
- Swine Flu – Midday 4-28-2009
- Swine Flu – Morning Update 4-29-2009
- 91 Swine Flu Cases in US
- Worldwide Swine Flu Cases from WHO 4-29-2009
- Suspected H1N1 Flu Case Reported at California Marine Base
- Swine Flu Pandemic Alert Level Raised to 5
- WHO Raises Pandemic Alert Level to 5
- Swine Flu Update – Early Morning 4-30-2009
- Swine Flu Involving Marines in California
- Swine Flu Cases in the U.S. 4-30-2009
- Swine Flu Cases in the United States May 2, 2009
- WHO Count of Swine Flu Cases
- U.S. Swine Flu Cases for May 1, 2009
- Mexican Swine Flu Testing Catching Up
- Worldwide Swine Flu Update 5-3-2009
- Swine Flu Update for the United States 5-03-2009
- Swine Flu in Texas
- Swine Flu in California
- Worlwide Swine Flu Update for May 4, 2009
- Worlwide Swine Flu Update for May 5, 2009
- Swine Flu Update for the United States May 6 2009
- Illinois Swine Flu Case Count Leaps
- US Swine Flu Case Count Up 45% May 5, 2009
- Swine Flu H1N1 Update for May 7, 2009
- United States Swine Flu – H1N1 Update for May 9 2009
- Worldwide Swine Flu Update for Early Morning May 11 2009
- United States Swine Flu H1N1 Update May 11 2009
- Swine Flu – H1N1 Update for May 13, 2009
- United States Swine Flu – H1N1 Update May 14 2009
- Swine Flu – H1N1 Update for the United States May 15 2009
- Colds and Influenza
- Swine Flu – H1N1 Update for the United States May 18 2009
- Swine Flu – H1N1 World Report May 19 2009
- Swine Flu – H1N1 in New York May 19 2009
- Swine Flu – Novel H1N1 Update for the United States May 20 2009
- Swine Flu – Novel H1N1 Weekend Summary May 23 2009
- Warning About Swine Flu – H1N1 May 23 2009
- Agencies Hide Swine Flu Cases
- Lost Swine Flu – H1N1 Cases in the United States
- Lost Swine Flu Cases for May 28 2009
- Novel H1N1 or Swine Flu Cases in the United States May 29 2009
- Swine Flu Weekend Update – United States May 30 2009
- Swine Flu or H1N1 in the United States – June 1 2009
- World Swine Flu – Novel H1N1 Cases for June 3 2009
- Swine Flu or H1N1 in the United States for June 3 2009
- World Swine Flu or H1N1 Cases June 5 2009
- Swine Flu or Novel H1N1 Cases in the United States June 5 2009
- Is Swine Flu or Novel H1N1 in Decline in the U.S.?
- New Orleans Mayor Nagin Quarantined In China
- Swine Flu or Novel H1N1 in the United States June 8 2009
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- Pandemic Flu Announcement to Come on Wednesday
- Swine Flu or Novel H1N1 in the United States June 10 2009
- Pandemic! Swine Flu or Novel H1N1 Official Pandemic as of 6 pm GMT
- Swine Flu Parties
- How to prevent catching Swine Flu
This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 at 11:21 am and is filed under Medicine, Influenza, Medicine, Military, Medicine, Pandemic, Medicine, Swine Flu. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.