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Published:July 12th, 2009 14:57 EST
H1N1 Virus Strikes Air Force Cadets

H1N1 Virus Strikes Air Force Cadets

By SOP newswire3

 U.S. Air Force Academy health professionals are currently caring for a number of basic cadets exhibiting symptoms consistent with the Centers for Disease Control criteria for influenza-like illness, or ILI.

Since July 6, 88 cadets have met the CDC criteria for ILI. These cadets are receiving medical care at the USAF Clinic and have been separated from other basic cadets to prevent the spread of a potential air-borne virus.

All cadets are doing well, and none require hospitalization.

Preliminary press reports that identified 15 basic cadets as having H1N1 are correct. Initial test results received from the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine Epidemiology Lab at Brooks City Base, Texas, were confirmed July 10 by Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center representatives.

Health officials stress that H1N1 flu behaves similar to typical seasonal influenza and emphasize the need to take standard seasonal flu preventive measures such as hand washing and cough etiquette.

"We are taking the necessary precautions to educate and safeguard military and civilian personnel, as well as family members," said Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, Air Force Academy superintendent. "The entire cadet wing and all USAFA personnel have been informed and given instructions of actions to take if flu-like symptoms are exhibited."

Academy health officials are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for treatment, testing and prevention and consulting with the CDC, Air Force Surgeon General and El Paso County Public Health Department.

"This is a serious matter and we are treating it as such. We understand friends and family are concerned about their loved ones, and we will release updates as information becomes available," General Gould said.