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The Army has started to screen all soldiers, Army civilian employees and contractors for swine flu before they deploy to Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else in U.S. Central Command’s region.

In a directive issued late last month, the Army ordered that people must be screened for the flu, also known as H1N1, within 24 hours of leaving.

As part of the screening, anyone who has a temperature higher than 100.4 Fahrenheit will not be allowed to leave without being cleared by a doctor.

People who test positive for influenza will be tested for H1N1.

The Army ordered that the screening start no later than Sept. 10.

Travelers will be asked if they are experiencing flulike symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose and fever, or if they have been exposed to anyone with H1N1.

"Let’s say a company of soldiers is going to get on a plane to deploy to Southwest Asia; 24 hours before they leave, a health care provider who is part of the unit will ask them [screening] questions. It could even be a medic," said Phil Tegtmeier, a spokesman for the Army’s Europe Regional Medical Command.

"This screening would locate anyone who has any sort of upper respiratory illness," Tegtmeier said.

Those traveling to CENTCOM’s region will need their unit’s verification that they passed the screening process and might be asked to show the release when they arrive.

Other services have not adopted the Army’s screening requirements.

Navy officials said they are not screening anyone for H1N1 unless they show symptoms.

Air Force officials did not respond by deadline.


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