Know H1N1 flu facts, be prepared

  • Published
  • By Col. Bruce McClintock
  • 96th Air Base Wing commander
Current news of the H1N1 Flu Outbreak shows just how vulnerable we can be, but Team Eglin is ready. 

Though Center of Disease Control and Prevention determined this novel strain is not pandemic, there are more than 60 confirmed cases in our country and even more cases exist in Mexico. 

Thankfully, we now know if something were to happen here, Team Eglin is ready to respond. Our recent exercise for a potential public health emergency has prepared us well. Even though in this case, we do not think this outbreak will affect Eglin, we can all rest assured we are fully prepared due to our exercise and training efforts. I'm extremely proud of the work we have done at Eglin to provide a safe environment for all Team Eglin members while maintaining our mission and emergency readiness. 

Our hospital continues to follow published health advisories as they become available and has provided informational briefings to base personnel. 

For your safety, I encourage you to be aware of possible H1N1 symptoms; they can be deceiving because they are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu - fevers of more than 100 degrees, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, chills, headache, body aches and fatigue. Your health care provider should be contacted immediately if you believe you or someone you know has been infected.

Prevention guidelines stress hand washing as the primary means of limiting exposure when no known cases have been identified in the local area. Daily hygiene tips also include covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, utilizing hand sanitizer and avoiding close contact with people who are sick as well as keeping distance from others if you are sick.

Heed the advice of the CDC; people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. H1N1 is contagious and is spread mainly from person to person.

Not normally found in humans, H1N1 is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by a type A influenza that regularly causes outbreaks. Personnel with symptoms will be screened for this virus by their health care provider.

Stay informed - the outbreak is ongoing and additional cases are expected. For more information, please keep up with the CDC website,