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

AFHSD’s GEIS collect data worldwide to support force protection

Image of Medical personnel scanning forehead of soldier with thermometer. Kuhina Talimalie, 735th Air Mobility Squadron, uses a no-touch thermometer on a U.S. Air Force airman to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among service members and the public. (Photo by Air Force Tech Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health | Coronavirus | Environmental Exposures | Global Health Engagement | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Throughout 2020, the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division and its Global Emerging Infections Surveillance branch continued to work with partners across the globe in their efforts to combat COVID-19 and protect military readiness. That work goes on even as vaccines for the disease have begun to be administered.

“We continue to fund worldwide respiratory pathogen surveillance studies and COVID-19-specific projects to understand the burden of disease and collect strains from infected cases across the globe,” said Navy Capt. Guillermo Pimentel, Global Emerging Infections Surveillance (GEIS) branch chief. These studies “allow the DOD to conduct advanced characterization of this novel coronavirus and support public health authorities of partner host nations.”

These efforts have allowed the Department of Defense to collect “critical information” for force health protection, and have allowed GEIS surveillance projects to reach approximately 80 countries, with its “principal strength being these partnerships with allies and demonstration of a field presence in key geographic locations of military relevance,” Pimentel added.

The data collected from surveillance studies are being used to “initiate, as well as to further adjust or modify, regional infectious disease protection guidance to maintain our forces ready to carry out their mission in each respective combatant command’s area of responsibility,” the GEIS chief said.

GEIS is also funding respiratory pathogen surveillance projects that provide data related to the burden of respiratory diseases to U.S and host nation militaries.

GEIS continues to fund COVID-19 genomic sequencing efforts from DOD service members and foreign nationals, Pimentel said. These sequencing efforts are at DOD labs in Cambodia, Thailand, Peru, and Kenya. By going outside the continental U.S., GEIS is better able to track the spread and impact in support of the combatant commands.

GEIS partners have sequenced more than 350 novel coronavirus isolates and have provided sequencing support to “multiple outbreaks in the Navy and Army,” he noted.

The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division and its branches also continue to monitor influenza and other major health events and outbreaks that are of military relevance. In connection with academic partners and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Integrated Biosurveillance Branch has a near real-time mapping application called the Health Surveillance Explorer that can be used to better respond to seasonal or pandemic influenza viruses, “estimate their impact on the readiness of the force, plan personnel requirements and implement interventions,” said IBB Chief Juan Ubiera.

GEIS’s military partners in its sequencing and tracking efforts are the Army (Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases), Navy (Navy Medical Research Center, Naval Health Research Center) and Air Force (U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine).

One partner from USAFSAM, Dr. Anthony Fries, a bioinformaticist from the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson, Ohio, said the AFRL continues to increase the sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 viruses “to assess what viral diversity is circulating in our service members.” Fries noted his lab has sequenced more than 800 patients with COVID-19.

“While the impact and optimism surrounding vaccines cannot be overstated…we are positioning our sequencing activities to see how this virus responds to a population that will soon have robust protection to it from these new vaccines,” Fries said. “From an evolutionary perspective, we’re hoping that this virus’s limited ability to diversify itself could restrict its ability to avoid our efforts to stop it with the new vaccines.”

Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Jameson Voss, chief, Air Force Medical Service Precision Medicine, Air Force Medical Readiness Agency, added: “We need to understand the genetic changes in the virus to ensure diagnostic, vaccine, and other countermeasures are still working.”

You also may be interested in...

Got Your 6 - June 6, 2021

Video
6/7/2021
Got Your 6 - June 6, 2021

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

MHS Minute May 2021

Video
5/28/2021
MHS Minute May 2021

In this month's MHS Minute, the DHA's commitment to transforming military health continues. The DHA officially established the Tidewater market in SE Virginia, serving over 200,000 patients. The MHS is standing up 19 markets like Tidewater to allow healthcare providers to better meet the needs of their patients by improving coordination between facilities in the area.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Health Readiness | MHS GENESIS

VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Video
5/28/2021
VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting the first vaccine available to you. Don't hold out for a certain brand; they're all safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Video
5/28/2021
VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Dr. LC Collins encourages people who are breastfeeding to get the vaccine. Since the vaccine doesn't contain live virus, you can't pass COVID to your baby.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Do I Need the Vaccine if I Had COVID?

Video
5/28/2021
VAX Facts: Do I Need the Vaccine if I Had COVID?

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting vaccinated even if you already had COVID. We're not sure how long natural immunity lasts, so getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Are mRNA vaccines safe?

Video
5/28/2021
Are mRNA vaccines safe?

Dr. LC Collins explains the years of research and ongoing monitoring to show how mRNA vaccines are safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

What is an mRNA vaccine?

Video
5/28/2021
What is an mRNA vaccine?

Dr. LC Collins explains how mRNA vaccines work to protect you from COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Town Hall May 26 2021

Video
5/26/2021
Town Hall May 26 2021

RADM Anne Swap will discuss the National Capital Region's response to COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | Direct Reporting Markets

Got Your 6 - May 26, 2021

Video
5/26/2021
Got Your 6 - May 26, 2021

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Vax Facts: Risk and Precautions

Video
5/20/2021
Vax Facts: Risk and Precautions

If you're fully vaccinated, there are options for safer activities. Watch to learn what activities you can resume once you're fully vaccinated.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Vax Facts: Recommendations for Pregnancy

Video
5/20/2021
Vax Facts: Recommendations for Pregnancy

The COVID vaccine is recommended for pregnant people. Watch to learn how your doctor can help you make the best decision for you and your baby.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Vax Facts: I'm fully vaccinated. What can I do?

Video
5/20/2021
Vax Facts: I'm fully vaccinated. What can I do?

If you're fully vaccinated, there are options for safer activities. Watch to learn what activities you can resume once you're fully vaccinated.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Got Your 6 - May 16, 2021

Video
5/16/2021
Got Your 6 - May 16, 2021

"Got Your 6" is TRICARE's COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

MHS Celebrates National Hospital Week

Video
5/12/2021
MHS Celebrates National Hospital Week

During National Hospital Week, we highlight all of the training efforts and safety protocols the Military Health System has put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Mental Health Toolkit | May

MHS Town Hall, May 12, 2021

Video
5/12/2021
MHS Town Hall, May 12, 2021

Tune in for another MHS and Military OneSource Town Hall with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 7
Refine your search
Last Updated: May 19, 2022

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.