ASK THE VET: Neuter to avoid expense and drama

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As of Tuesday, 240 basic cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy are being treated for stomach flu symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, according to 10th Medical Group officials.

No one has been hospitalized as a result of the viral gastroenteritis outbreak, although officials said they are monitoring the situation closely. The first cases of flu were reported last week. About 180 basic cadets have been placed in isolation in Vandenberg Hall, one of two cadet dormitories.

"The health and safety of our cadets and all those who live and work at the Air Force Academy is our top priority," Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould said in a statement.

"We understand this is a serious matter, and we're taking steps to inform Academy personnel and the community of the precautions necessary to ensure their safety."

Lt. Col. John Bryan stressed that the virus just has to run its course. "There's not a magic vaccine that we can give them to make it go away," he said.

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The 10th Medical Group advises anyone with symptoms to stay hydrated and see a local health care provider, if necessary.

Preventing the spread of the disease include thoroughly washing hands and cleaning potentially infected surfaces with a 10 percent bleach solution.