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5th MDG tests for illnesses

A throat swab is applied to agar in a petri dish to test for Strep throat at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Jan. 23, 2014. The 5th Medical Group tests for the organism known as “Beta Hemolytic Group A Strep” which is the strain that needs to be diagnosed and treated. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

A throat swab is applied to agar in a petri dish to test for Strep throat at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Jan. 23, 2014. The 5th Medical Group tests for the organism known as “Beta Hemolytic Group A Strep” which is the strain that needs to be diagnosed and treated. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

Lavon Slind, 5th Medical Group laboratory technical supervisor, uses a petri dish filled with agar to test for Beta Hemolytic Group A Strep at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Jan. 23, 2014. Beta hemolytic Streptococcus group A is the organism that causes strep throat, an illness that is greatly increased during the winter months. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

Lavon Slind, 5th Medical Group laboratory technical supervisor, uses a petri dish filled with agar to test for Beta Hemolytic Group A Strep at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Jan. 23, 2014. Beta hemolytic Streptococcus group A is the organism that causes strep throat, an illness that is greatly increased during the winter months. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

A petri dish is viewed after 18 to 24 hours of growth at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. Jan. 23, 2014.   The petri dish has been swabbed to test for strep throat, an illness that is greatly increased during the winter months. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

A petri dish is viewed after 18 to 24 hours of growth at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. Jan. 23, 2014. The petri dish has been swabbed to test for strep throat, an illness that is greatly increased during the winter months. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

Lavon Slind, 5th Medical Group Laboratory Technical Supervisor, conducts tests to look for signs of Strep throat and Influenza in the laboratory at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Jan. 23, 2014.  Ms. Slind works alongside a team of Airmen and civilians who test everything from nasal washings to blood samples and throat swabs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

Lavon Slind, 5th Medical Group Laboratory Technical Supervisor, conducts tests to look for signs of Strep throat and Influenza in the laboratory at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Jan. 23, 2014. Ms. Slind works alongside a team of Airmen and civilians who test everything from nasal washings to blood samples and throat swabs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

(from left to right) Lavon Slind, 5th Medical Group, Laboratory Technical Supervisor and Raquel Hoskin, 5th MDG medical laboratory technician test samples for blood abnormalities using a Vitros 350 Chemistry Analyzer at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. Jan. 23, 2014. Serious complications of strep throat, influenza and other diseases going untreated can be diagnosed using the broad spectrum of chemistry testing in the laboratory. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

(from left to right) Lavon Slind, 5th Medical Group, Laboratory Technical Supervisor and Raquel Hoskin, 5th MDG medical laboratory technician test samples for blood abnormalities using a Vitros 350 Chemistry Analyzer at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. Jan. 23, 2014. Serious complications of strep throat, influenza and other diseases going untreated can be diagnosed using the broad spectrum of chemistry testing in the laboratory. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

A Vitros 350 Chemistry Analyzer is used to test samples for blood abnormalities at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. Jan. 23, 2014.  Chemistry testing is used as one of the first methods of screening to assist a provider in deciding what additional testing must be ordered to diagnose a specific disease state in the patient. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

A Vitros 350 Chemistry Analyzer is used to test samples for blood abnormalities at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. Jan. 23, 2014. Chemistry testing is used as one of the first methods of screening to assist a provider in deciding what additional testing must be ordered to diagnose a specific disease state in the patient. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

Pipets, petri dishes and other medical testing equipment sit in an enclosed testing area in the laboratory at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Jan. 23, 2014. The equipment is used to test for a wide array of illnesses to include strep throat and influenza. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

Pipets, petri dishes and other medical testing equipment sit in an enclosed testing area in the laboratory at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Jan. 23, 2014. The equipment is used to test for a wide array of illnesses to include strep throat and influenza. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

Lavon Slind, 5th Medical Group laboratory technical supervisor, extracts a sample using a pipet to test for Influenza A and B in the laboratory at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Jan. 23, 2014. Slind works alongside a team of Airmen and civilians who test everything from blood samples to throat swabs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

Lavon Slind, 5th Medical Group laboratory technical supervisor, extracts a sample using a pipet to test for Influenza A and B in the laboratory at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Jan. 23, 2014. Slind works alongside a team of Airmen and civilians who test everything from blood samples to throat swabs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Stephanie Sauberan)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The 5th Medical group laboratory tests a wide variety of samples to include blood samples and throat swabs for illnesses ranging from strep throat to influenza.
 
Serious complications of strep throat, influenza and other diseases going untreated can be diagnosed using the broad spectrum of chemistry testing in the laboratory.
 
Petri dishes can also be used to test samples and swabs for strep throat, an illness that is greatly increased during the winter months.
 
It is important to note that the influenza vaccine can take up to two weeks to provide full protection against infection, so as cases begin to be reported, vaccination is increasingly important for those who have yet received a vaccination this year.
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