Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

MHS prepared to support interagency coronavirus response

Airmen assist one another in donning their personal protective equipment, while on-board an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III during transportation isolation system training at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. Engineered and implemented after the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014, the TIS is an enclosure the Department of Defense can use to safely transport patients with diseases like novel coronavirus. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody R. Miller) Airmen assist one another in donning their personal protective equipment, while on-board an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III during transportation isolation system training at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. Engineered and implemented after the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014, the TIS is an enclosure the Department of Defense can use to safely transport patients with diseases like novel coronavirus. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cody R. Miller)

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) now affects more than 28 countries, with more than 28,000 cases worldwide. The Military Health System and Defense Health Agency remain prepared to support combatant commanders to protect our service members, other Department of Defense personnel, and their families in the United States and around the globe.

U.S. Army Col. (Dr.) Jennifer Kishimori, director, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Medical Countermeasures Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, recently briefed a U.S. Government interagency panel and health industry stakeholders on MHS actions and responsibilities. Foremost, Kishimori explained the DoD follows the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the U.S. government medical lead.

“DoD is in support of the interagency for preparedness and response efforts against the novel coronavirus outbreak,” Kishimori said. “This is a new virus. Information is emerging and changing daily. Our Military Health System, which comprises the medical assets within the DoD, works to keep pace with CDC and interagency guidance in this fluid situation.”

Earlier, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew P. Donovan released a guidance letter for force health protection specifically relating to the novel coronavirus. In it, Donovan stated that DoD will follow CDC guidance and provide specific instructions for DoD personnel and military health care professionals. While DoD personnel are not specifically at risk of exposure to the 2019-nCoV, the fact that DoD personnel and their families travel internationally and throughout the U.S. means they should take additional precautions to avoid risk.

Kishimori further explained DoD, through DHA, is distributing CDC-based guidance to health care providers and military families at all military treatment facilities. “Though our executing organizations such as the Defense Health Agency, we are working to communicate current CDC guidance for public health, hospital preparedness, patient evaluation, infection control, laboratory testing and health risk communication, in coordination with the Joint Staff.”

Specifically, DHA’s Medical Affairs directorate released information for health care providers to ensure any patient with a risk of infection receives the proper care and testing and that public health authorities are notified of all cases.

Kishimori outlined MHS’ unique capabilities to monitor and respond to 2019-nCoV for both surveillance and research and development.

  • The Center for Laboratory Medicine Services and the Executive Secretariat, DoD Laboratory Network synchronizes laboratory capability across the MHS and works with interagency partners to ensure supported network laboratories have the necessary detection and characterization capabilities in place to support 2019-nCoV-related activities across the globe.
  • DHA Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division and Global Emerging Infections Surveillance monitor daily the status of the outbreak.
  • Naval Medical Research Unit-2 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, continues increased surveillance for the coronavirus at the China border.
  • The Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences in Thailand is also in a forward position to identify and characterize virus isolates.

The MHS also has a robust research capability with specific expertise in coronaviruses. Kishimori explained that the DoD has scientists and clinicians with experience in rapidly executing pre-clinical studies and virus vaccine clinical trials with infectious disease clinicians through DoD laboratories.

The CDC recommends simple measures to protect yourself from illness:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60 percent alcohol.

“Force Health Protection is our top priority in Health Affairs and the Department of Defense,” Kishimori explained. “The MHS continues to coordinate with DoD partners and the interagency to optimize preparedness and response efforts against the nCoV.”

You also may be interested in...

ARNORTH military support to FEMA begins in Tennessee, continues in five states

Article Around MHS
9/24/2021
Prepared COVID-19 vaccine shots wait to be administered to an Airman. Members of the 134th Air Refueling Wing were eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccines during Unit Training Assembly here May 2nd, 2021.

At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, approximately 20 military medical personnel deployed to Tennessee to support civilian healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients in local hospitals.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

COVID-19 can lead to long-term health concerns

Article Around MHS
9/23/2021
Debra Lamb, a 30-year civil service veteran at Ft. Carson, contracted the COVID-19 virus late in 2020 and experienced a harrowing ordeal before partially recovering months later.

Debra Lamb, a 30-year civil service veteran at Ft. Carson, contracted the COVID-19 virus late in 2020 and experienced a harrowing ordeal before partially recovering months later.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DODEA Schools Keeps On With In-Person Classes, and Fall Sports, Too

Article
9/23/2021
Kids playing football

DODEA schools are striving to continue in-person learning in the 2021-22 school year.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Coronavirus

Dr. David Smith at "Centennial Talks"

Photo
9/23/2021
Dr. Smith presenting at a podium

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Readiness Policy and Oversight Dr. David Smith speaks at the International Committee of Military Medicine’s "Centennial Talks," a hybrid in-person and online event broadcast from Schelle, Belgium, Sept. 21 (Screenshot from official livestream of event taken by MHS Communications),

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Dr. David J. Smith | Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

International Partnerships Foster Improvements in Military Health Care

Article
9/23/2021
Dr. Smith presenting at a podium

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Readiness Policy and Oversight Dr. David Smith spoke about what makes global health, specifically military partnerships, work as part of the ICMM’s "Centennial Talks," in Schelle, Belgium.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Dr. David J. Smith | Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

6th Medical Group Delivers Mandatory Vaccines

Article Around MHS
9/21/2021
An Airman from the 6th Medical Group prepares a COVID-19 vaccine for distribution at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

Airmen from the 6th Medical Group began redistributing doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, on Sept. 9, 2021. This comes after the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum on Aug. 23, 2021, mandating all active duty personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Got Your 6

Video
9/16/2021
Got Your 6 Infographic

‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, on days that end in ‘6.’ It includes the latest information about DOD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability. Got a question about ‘Got Your 6’? Send an email to dha.ncr.comm.mbx.dha-internal-communications@mail.mil

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

After the ventilator COVID survivor advocates for vaccine

Article Around MHS
9/15/2021
Tim Harris is sedated while on a ventilator

Tim Harris, a mobilization and planning specialist, U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, is sedated while on a ventilator at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, June 27, 2020.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Public Health Prevents Disease in Pods

Article Around MHS
9/13/2021
U.S. Air Force Capt. Spencer Carrier, 86th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron physical therapist, stands in Pod one at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sep. 4, 2021. Carrier spends his time outside of work with his church to prepare food for evacuees and their families and also collects donations to pay for clothes, diapers and toys to donate to evacuees in support of Operation Allies Refuge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jared Lovett)

As part of Operation Allies Refuge, the Public Health team at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, is continuously out in the evacuee camps sharing tips and enforcing regulations to keep Airmen, volunteers and evacuees healthy. By encouraging everyone to wash hands often and wear masks and gloves when appropriate, Public Health works to mitigate the spread of disease and prevent illness.

Recommended Content:

Public Health

Army Medicine Europe Provides Additional COVID Vaccinations for Immune Compromised

Article Around MHS
9/13/2021
Franz Dietrich, a German local national assigned to Training Support Activity Europe, receives a COVID-19 vaccination at the 7th Army Training Command's (7ATC) Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany, May 4, 2021. The U.S. Army Health Clinics at Grafenwoehr and Vilseck conducted a "One Community" COVID-19 vaccine drive May 3-7 to provide thousands of appointments to the 7ATC community of Soldiers, spouses, Department of the Army civilians, veterans and local nationals employed by the U.S. Army. (U.S. Army photo by Markus Rauchenberger)

Army medical treatment facilities in Europe are now offering an additional dose of COVID vaccine for immune compromised beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Food Safety Month: Commissaries Join Other Agencies in Highlighting Foodborne Illness Prevention

Article Around MHS
9/13/2021
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Spc. Crystal Vice, a veterinary food inspection specialist with Public Health Activity Fort Carson, checks the expiration date on a peanut butter container Oct. 13, 2020, at the Fort Carson Commissary. Food inspectors randomly check food and other items before they’re put on the shelves for sale. (Photo by Eric E. Parris)

During Food Safety Education Month in September, DeCA joins the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Food Safety Inspection Service, the Department of Health and Human Services and other organizations in reinforcing foodborne illness awareness and prevention.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Public Health

The COVID-19 Pandemic: How Health Care Workers are Coping

Article
9/13/2021
a nurse helping a COVID-19 patient

For health care providers, experiencing the pandemic inside a hospital has brought

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health Podcasts

Increased COVID Restrictions on the Pentagon Reservation

Article
9/8/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and positive test cases in the National Capital Region, the Pentagon Reservation will move to Health Protection Condition Bravo Plus (Bravo+)

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Digital health innovation emerges during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
8/31/2021
The Defense Health Agency’s Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic. (Graphic courtesy of DHA Connected Health)

The DHA's Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise, and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Connected Health | Coronavirus

As Fitness Tests Resume, Troops Seek Post-COVID Exercise Routines

Article
8/31/2021
Military personnel physically training

Keeping fit during pandemic proves hard for some.

Recommended Content:

Total Body Preventive Health and Total Force Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 61

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.