Fort Benning reports multiple cases of Strep; mysterious soldier death investigated

Georgia News
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There have been multiple cases of A Streptococcus — better known as Strep — reported at Fort Benning this month, according to information provided to News 3 by the post officials.

Fort Benning is aware of the four cases of Strep with basic trainees. The first reports of Strep came on Feb. 13, according to Fort Benning Public Affairs.

There has also been a soldier die, but Fort Benning officials have not connected it to the Strep cases yet, according to a post official.

“Unfortunately Fort Benning suffered a death of a soldier but we cannot confirm it was related,” said Ben Garrett, a post spokesman. “The medical evaluation determining the death is ongoing at this time.” 

These particular cases were complications of Strep infection and should be characterized as a cluster of cases and not as an epidemic, Garrett said.

Fort Benning medical personnel have been working with the TRADOC Surgeon; the consultant for Infectious Disease for the Army; and the director, Army Public Health Command,

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bacteria called group A Streptococcus can cause many different infections. These infections range from minor illnesses to very serious and deadly diseases.

The post has started advanced screenings of all basic training soldiers, including the cadre. Martin Army Community Hospital initiated the enhanced screenings on Feb. 13.

The soldiers testing positive are receiving a proper regimen of antibiotic treatment, according to the information provided to News 3 by Fort Benning. As a preventive measure, all basic training soldiers and cadre will receive antibiotics following recommended Surgeon General Guidelines to prevent the potential spread of infection, Benning officials said in a release.

The cost of providing the antibiotics to 10,000 soldiers and cadre is $1.7 million, Garrett said.

There is currently no quarantine of basic training soldiers, according to Garrett.

“There is no wide-spread epidemic or outbreak,” Garrett said. “The close proximity of (basic training) soldiers can create conditions for the spread of infectious diseases. Because of this fact, Fort Benning health care professionals continuously monitor (basic training) Soldiers at all phases of their training in order to attempt to treat them promptly.”

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