Staff members, from the William Beaumont Army Medical Center on Fort Bliss, are ready to combat H1N1 WBAMC are stressing preventative measures.

"H1N1 is a type of influenza (flu) virus that causes respiratory disease that can spread between people. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and avian genes and human genes. Scientists call this a 'quadruple reassortant' virus," according to the Centers for disease control and prevention.

One of the ways that WBAMC is preventing a possible outbreak of H1N1 is by setting up hand sanitizing stations at the main entrance of the hospital and handing out flyers with information on how to prevent swine flu.

"I think it helps just because people will remember this even if it's not swine flu, they'll wash their hands more often and that will help with the prevention of other germs," said Pfc. Valarie Sam a WBAMC medical lab technician.

Another way that WBAMC is preventing the spread of H1N1 and other illnesses is by fitting its staff with masks. The masks that WBAMC is issuing filter airborne particles and other contaminants that cause H1N1 and other viruses.

"Any time you can protect you're personnel from being exposed that lessens the chance of cross contamination is good. If you lose your medical personnel how do you treat patients'" said Paul Raisch an industrial hygienist with procedural medicine at WBAMC.

WBAMC is not taking H1N1 lightly because of the potential danger it could have. "We are very conscious of this virus and we are taking some important prudent measures. It all starts with prevention and that's the whole key here," said Col. Bruce Adams, chief of emergency medicine at WBAMC.

WBAMC will continue to watch for signs of H1N1 to prevent it a possible outbreak.

Page last updated Tue May 5th, 2009 at 14:44