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Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 2:11pm

Fort Gordon Army Base in Augusta Reports 11 Swine Flu Cases

The Fort Gordon army base in Augusta is reporting a total of 11 confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, there.

The latest three cases include a 50-year-old retiree, a 21-year-old soldier and a teen-aged relative of military personnel. The 11 cases do not appear to be related and have not been serious, say military officials.

Nationwide, the virus has hit children and adults, ages 5–24, the hardest. Fort Gordon has a large population of military trainees who are young adults.

"When you combine young people, be it in the military or a school environment, or college environment, and they're in close proximity and someone has the flu, the flu is going to spread," says Joe Quimby, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At other major military installations in Georgia, Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta has had eight cases while the Fort Benning army base near Columbus has had one. Numbers were not available from the Fort Stewart army base on Thursday.

Georgia, meanwhile, now has a total of 178 confirmed cases of swine flu. One person, in Cobb County, has died from it.

The U.S. Department of Defense, meanwhile, has placed Fort Gordon on its global surveillance summary list, along with Fort Bliss and Fort Sam Houston in Texas, each with confirmed swine flu cases of more than 100.

Fort Jackson, in Columbia, South Carolina, is also on the list.

Officials with the U.S. Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center say the designation means the department is monitoring Fort Gordon.

The list, however, indicates that Fort Gordon has reported 36 cases instead of 11. Officials could not immediately explain the discrepancy.

The surveillance list reports that 2,715 beneficiaries of the U.S. Armed Forces, ranging from active duty members to relatives and retirees, have been diagnosed with H1N1.

Click HERE (XLS link) to see a county-by-county listing of swine flu cases in Georgia. (Information from the Georgia Department of Community Health)

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