Tuesday, July 7, 2020

U.S. military health officials issues statement on deadly coronavirus

Recommended

Smart weapons and their role in the technological transformation of modern defense infrastructure

Accelerating technological advancement, especially in the digital spectrum, has asserted its impact on nearly all realms of life. Having its roots in the commercial...

Russian fighter jets again intercept U.S. spy plane as it flew close to Crimea

Russian SU-27 fighter aircraft scrambled on Wednesday to intercept U.S. Air Force RC-135 Rivet Joint spy plane flying over the Black Sea. The Russian defense...

Russia denies that Washington could buy Turkey’s S-400 systems

The Russian Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation has denied that U.S. would be able to buy Turkey’s Russian-made S-400 air defense system under...

Sierra Nevada gets $700M contract to provide AC/MC-130J fleet with advanced electronic warfare technology

Sierra Nevada Corp. has secured a $700 million contract from the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for the development and procurement of Radio Frequency Countermeasure (RFCM)...

U.S. Army selects Kongsberg to develop wireless lethality for new gen robotic combat vehicles

The U.S. Army has selected Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace to provide a wireless fire control capability to support its future medium caliber lethality needs...

The U.S. Military Health System Communications Office has issued a statement on the deadly coronavirus: what providers and patients should know.

With news of the contagious and potentially deadly illness known as novel coronavirus grabbing headlines worldwide, military health officials say that an informed, common-sense approach minimizes the chances of getting sick.

Many forms of coronavirus exist among both humans and animals, but this new strain’s lethality has triggered considerable alarm. Believed to have originated at an animal market in Wuhan City, China, novel coronavirus has sickened hundreds and killed at least four. It has since spread to other parts of Asia. The first case of novel coronavirus in the U.S. was reported Jan. 22 in the state of Washington.

Anyone contracting a respiratory illness shouldn’t assume it’s novel coronavirus; it is far more likely to be a more common malady.

“For example, right now in the U.S., influenza, with 35 million cases last season, is far more commonplace than novel coronavirus,” said U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Dr. (Lt. Cmdr.) David Shih, a preventive medicine physician and epidemiologist with the Clinical Support Division, Defense Health Agency. He added that those experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness – like coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath and fever – should avoid contact with others and making them sick, Shih said.

“Don’t think you’re being super dedicated by showing up to work when ill,” Shih said. “Likewise, if you’re a duty supervisor, please don’t compel your workers to show up when they’re sick. In the short run, you might get a bit of a productivity boost. In the long run, that person could transmit a respiratory illness to co-workers, and pretty soon you lose way more productivity because your entire office is sick.”

Shih understands that service members stationed in areas of strategic importance and elevated states of readiness are not necessarily in the position to call in sick. In such instances, sick personnel still can take steps to practice effective cough hygiene and use whatever hygienic services they can find to avert hindering readiness by making their fellow service members sick. Frequent thorough hand-washing, for instance, is a cornerstone of respiratory disease prevention.

“You may not have plumbing for washing hands, but hand sanitizer can become your best friend and keep you healthy,” Shih said.

Regarding novel coronavirus, Shih recommends following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel notices. First, avoid all non-essential travel to Wuhan, China, the outbreak’s epicenter. Second, patients who traveled to China in the past 14 days and show symptoms including fever, cough or difficulty breathing, should seek medical care right away, calling the doctor’s office or emergency room in advance to report travel and symptoms, and otherwise avoid contact with others and travel while sick.

The CDC also has guidance for health care professionals, who should evaluate patients with fever and respiratory illness by taking a careful travel history to identify patients under investigation who include those with fever, lower respiratory illness symptoms, and travel history to Wuhan, China, within 14 days prior to symptom onset. PUIs should wear a surgical mask as soon as they are identified and be evaluated in a private room with the door closed, ideally an airborne infection isolation room if available. Workers caring for PUIs should wear gloves, gowns, masks, eye protection and respiratory protection. Perhaps most importantly, care providers who believe they may be treating a novel coronavirus patient should immediately notify infection control and public health authorities (the installation preventive medicine or public health department at military treatment facilities).

Because novel coronavirus is new, as its name suggests, there is as yet no immunization nor specific treatment. Care providers are instead treating the symptoms – acetaminophen to reduce fever, lozenges and other treatments to soothe sore throats, and, for severe cases, ventilators to help patients breathe.

“Lacking specific treatment,” Shih said, “we must be extra vigilant about basic prevention measures: frequent hand-washing, effective cough and sneeze hygiene, avoiding sick individuals and self-isolating when sick.”

If you wish to report grammatical or factual errors within our news articles, you can let us know by using the online feedback form.

Executive Editor

TRENDING NOW

U.S. Army looks to buy Soviet-made special ammunition and weapon systems

The U.S. Army is buying an unspecified number of the Non-NATO standard ammunition and Soviet-era weapon systems, according to a government’s main contracting website...

U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress arrives in Guam

The U.S. Air Force has deployed B-52H Stratofortress nuclear-capable bomber Andersen Air Force Base, Guam on July 4. The B-52H Stratofortress bomber, assigned to the...

Russia discloses new details of electromagnetic pulse cannon

Russian defense industry sources have disclosed the new details of the electromagnetic pulse cannon capable of hitting targets 6 miles away. The new super cannon...

Serbia receives Chinese-made unmanned combat aerial vehicles

Ministry of the defense Republic of Serbia has taken delivery of the first CH-92A unmanned combat aerial vehicles from China. The surveillance and reconnaissance unmanned...

Related News

Chinese new Z-8G transport helicopters spotted near disputed Himalayan border

China’s new Z-8G transport helicopters were recently spotted during a large-scale military exercise near a disputed Himalayan border. The new Z-8G helicopters attached to an...

U.S. Army looks to buy Soviet-made special ammunition and weapon systems

The U.S. Army is buying an unspecified number of the Non-NATO standard ammunition and Soviet-era weapon systems, according to a government’s main contracting website...

Australian Army to receive 251 new Remote Weapon Stations for its protected vehicles

Australia’s Department of Defense and Electro Optic Systems announced on Thursday an agreement for the procurement of 251 new Remote Weapon Stations. "Today’s announcement of...

35 years of lethality: U.S. Air Force celebrates B-1’s history

Thirty-five years ago, the first B-1B Lancer long-range, multi-mission, supersonic conventional bomber was delivered to the U.S. Air Force. On June 29th, 1985, at 1:55...