Story By Lindsay Frost
With rising concerns of the spread of the H1N1 virus, also known as the Swine Flu, the U.S. military is using the Charleston Air Force base to ship out 30,000 protection kits to Central America. The military is targeting specific countries in need, including Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
The U.S. has worked with officials to identify countries threatened by the virus and those in need of supplies. The C-17 Globemaster aircraft that left the Charleston Air Force base May 8 is scheduled to deliver about 5,000 kits to the six countries over the next few days. Local officials will distribute the necessary equipment to response units in the event of an outbreak of the virus.
The kits include virus protection and prevention equipment, including virus screening respirators, safety goggles, gloves, shoe-covers, disposable aprons and overalls, and infectious biohazard waste bags.
The supplies were donated from a Department of Defense warehouse in Albany, Ga., and are estimated to be worth $225,000. The shipment is in addition to 100,000 personal protection kits worth over $973,000 sent to Mexico City on May 2.