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Vandenberg remains proactive as the H1N1 flu continues to spread

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Center for Disease Control has confirmed 64 cases of the H1N1 flu in the United States as of April 28; seven in California.

The 30th Medical Group here is staying vigilant for the symptoms as appointments are made through sick-call procedures.

The H1N1 strand, unlike normal flu strands, is attacking young to middle-aged adults with symptoms that include fever above 100.4, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people may experience a runny nose, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea. The recent outbreak of the flu is thought to originate in Mexico.

"As people call in to make appointments, we have people screening for symptoms of the flu," said Capt. Brenda Dehn, the 30th Medical Operations Squadron's public health element officer-in-charge. "They will be asking questions like, 'Have you been to Mexico lately or around anyone who has.'"

H1N1 is thought to spread the same way seasonal viruses are spread.

"It is thought to occur in the same way a seasonal flu occurs in people, which is mainly person-to-person transmission through coughing or sneezing of people infected with the influenza virus," according to the CDC's Web site, www.CDC.gov. "People may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose."

Although there are antiviral drugs available in the United States, the best way to stop the virus is personal prevention. People should begin taking steps now to ensure personal protection against the flu.

"First and most important: wash your hands," according to the CDC Web site. "Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food. Try not to touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick."

Any Team Vandenberg member with symptoms of the virus should call 606-CARE (2273) to set up an appointment with a family care provider.