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Health and Safety Directorate

Disease Surveillance

Medical Event Reporting (MER)
Protecting the health of the Coast Guard workforce during a potential disease outbreak is paramount to preserving CG operational missions. This will require dynamic awareness, prevention.  The health services department representative is responsible for complying with federal, state, and Coast Guard communicable disease reporting requirements. In order to have an effective communicable disease control program, health services department representatives must submit Medical Events Reports via the Navy Disease Reporting Surveillance internet (NDRSi) system.  The Coast Guard is included in the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center disease monitoring program.

H1N1 Influenza Specimen Collection and Shipping
Proper specimen collection, storage and shipping is vital to good quality laboratory testing. The optimal collection method for respiratory viruses is the nasal wash. Nasopharyngeal swabs are also acceptable. All collection and shipping materials will be provided by USAFSAM. Please contact the USAFSAM Laboratory Customer Service Team (, Ina Smith (, or Mr. James Smith ( to order supplies. 

Upon collection, the specimen should be placed in viral transport medium (VTM) and refrigerated immediately. VTM is included in the collection kits. Optimally, specimens should be frozen at -70C or colder prior to shipping on dry ice.

Shipping boxes should be packed with lots of dry ice with no dead air space. Specimens can be kept refrigerated and shipped on frozen gel packs as long as they are received in our laboratory in less than three days from date of collection. The viability of the viruses and integrity of the nucleic acid is severely compromised if stored at refrigerated temperatures for longer periods. Specimens received at greater than three days from date of collection will be rejected. Upon receipt, the temperature of the inside of the box is measured. If the temperature is greater than 10C, the specimens will be rejected.

Please ship all specimens by FedEx Priority.  Ship to the following address: 

USAFSAM/PHE, Building 930, 2730 Louis Bauer Drive, Brooks City-Base TX 78235-5132 ;Telephone: 210/536-8378 or 210/536-5721.

Specimens should be shipped by FedEx Priority for arrival Tuesday through Friday. Shipments are not delivered to the laboratory on Saturdays. Therefore, please do not ship boxes on Friday. If special circumstances require Saturday delivery, please contact the USAFSAM laboratory (210/536-8378) for special arrangements.

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Last Modified 3/12/2014