COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS)

The COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) is a respiratory illness that began in Wuhan City, China and has spread worldwide. Government agencies are working collaboratively to provide information to help prevent the spread of the disease, develop a disease response and support those already infected. Visit the sites below to read more about the current situation and what you can do to protect yourself.

Updates

Zoom Support Review: Check out this Zoom training featuring an overview of the new password requirements implemented by Zoom and as well as a review of the settings available through the tool. Check it out today: Zoom Support Review
Access password: 1E#h&d.0

Zoom + Humor = Productivity

Another insightful submission from our very own Joe Valletti – in this article, Joe explores how using humor can elevate the Zoom experience for everyone involved.

Joe Valletti, long-time MHNGS MFLC, submitted the attached article that explores Virtual Team Communication and encourages each of us to examine our own virtual capabilities. Worth the read! Virtual Team Communication

TAPS launched a series of TAPS Talks, virtual gatherings to bring comfort and connections to our TAPS family. TAPS Talks creates a safe space for support and informal learning, from expert presenters and from each other. Upcoming connections can be found on the TAPS events calendar. Recordings of each discussion are posted on the TAPS website after the event.

Designed for military service providers and leaders, the MC&FP Service Provider eNewsletter provides information, resources and tools to support their work on behalf of the military community.

Sign up for the MC&FP Service Provider eNewsletter today! Click Here.

Explore these practical ways to improve telehealth sessions provided by the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine: https://www.nicabm.com/improving-telehealth-sessions/

Relias is offering free, unlimited access to relevant resources to help healthcare professionals and individuals prepare, control, and prevent the spread of infection. Check it out! https://www.relias.com/topic/coronavirus

Mental Health Wellness Tips: sound advice for navigating our ‘new normal.’

PsychHub teamed up with the nation’s most credible mental health organizations to collaborate on a free resource hub to help people address their mental health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check it out! https://psychhub.com/covid-19/

Resources to Maintain Psychological Readiness during COVID-19: The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) compiled a list of resources on the topics of managing stress, maintaining mental well-being, and fostering resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic for Service members, families, leadership, and healthcare providers. Check it out today!

COVID-19 Military Support InitiativeThe Association of Defense Communities (ADC), Blue Star Families, and participants of the White Oak Collaborative have joined forces to create the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative (CMSI)—a united, national platform to provide resources and expertise to support communities, states, and military families through this crisis.  Explore this site for resources, latest news stories and best practices. Scroll to the bottom of the home page for upcoming seminars focused on supporting military families. https://covid19militarysupport.org/

The Centers for Financial Social Work created this resource to explore the Financial Social Work process is and the many ways it can educate, motivate, validate, and support everyone struggling to cope with the bottom-line realities of the “COVID Financial Crisis” (and other financial adversities). Check it out!

Financial Reality Coping Guide: COVID-19 & Beyond

Apple released a website and an iOS app that allows users to screen themselves for coronavirus symptoms, marking another response to the pandemic by a major tech platform. Both tools were developed in partnership with the CDC and FEMA.

The website is https://www.apple.com/covid19.

The app can be downloaded here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1504132184

Information related to Airports Screening for Coronavirus


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) posted the following resource titled: Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health during an Infectious Disease Outbreak


Military OneSource has posted and promises to provide daily updates to it’s Coronavirus Information for our Military Community support page. Directly from this page, you can review the latest CDC guidance, Government Response and DOD response. Comprehensive resources to support the military family during this time are posted here, as well.

Centene recently launched a COVID-19 Resource Page on CNET to provide support and recommendations to its employees to protect against the virus. Information from that resource page have been posted below for you. To date, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 within the Centene employee population, both nationally and internationally.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control provides daily updates on the spread of the virus as well as informational categories to help you stay informed: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/novel-coronavirus-china

The U.S. Department of State issued an Emergency Alert for citizens today with updated warnings regarding COVID-19 and travel restrictions and recommendations related to the virus.  Detailed cautions regarding cruise ship travel are included.  The link to this alert is as follows: 
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/novel-coronavirus-hubei-province–china.html

COVID-19 Q&A

  • This is a new virus, and it is creating great concern in the community.  There is not a vaccine yet for this novel virus, and we do not have a specific medicine to treat it.  An effective vaccine is most likely 12-18 months away. 
  • Also, the coronavirus is contagious – similar to the flu.  Most people who become infected with the coronavirus have a mild illness or may not even have any symptoms. 
  • According to the CDC, the risk of infection in the US in currently very low for the general American public who are unlikely to be exposed.

This is a new virus, and it is creating great concern in the community.  There is not a vaccine yet for this novel virus, and we do not have a specific medicine to treat it.  An effective vaccine could be months or even years away- most likely 12-18 months.  Also, the coronavirus is contagious – similar to the flu.  Most people who become infected with the coronavirus have a mild illness or may not even have any symptoms. 

  • Both are respiratory illnesses.  Fever, cough, shortness of breath can be seen with both illnesses, and both can start very quickly with lots of aches and fatigue. People who become ill with coronavirus will develop severe respiratory symptoms. There are lab tests to confirm the diagnosis of flu and coronavirus, but the tests are not available in every state yet.  Exposure to individuals who have traveled to an infected area is also important information for a doctor to tell the difference.
  • If you have symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.

Seasonal flu has about a ~0.1% mortality.  This means that one person dies for every 1,000 infected.  The coronavirus has a ~2% morality or two people die for every 100 infected.  In contrast, the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak in 2003 had a 10% mortality rate, meaning 1 in 10 people died. 

  • If you are low risk (healthy, not elderly or with chronic diseases), most likely the illness will run the course similar to a mild case of the flu.  You treat the fever, dry cough and fatigue with hydration and rest.  Studies have shown that the infection tends to be less severe in children. 
  • Some people develop a more severe case with shortness of breath and even respiratory failure.  Those people need to seek immediate medical attention.           
  • People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

General Information

In December 2019, there was a cluster of cases of pneumonia and respiratory diseases, first identified in the Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.  Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China, had some link to a large seafood and live animal market.

A previously unknown virus is responsible for the infections.  The virus was originally named the “2019-novel coronavirus.” The virus was later renamed “SARS-CoV-2”, and the related disease is now called “coronavirus disease 2019” (or “COVID-19”).  

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.  Other examples of coronaviruses include SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. 
  • SARS-CoV causes severe acute respiratory syndrome that had a global outbreak in 2003. 
  • MERS-CoV is causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a respiratory illness that had global impact in 2012.  

There are other species of coronaviruses that commonly infect humans can cause mild illness, like the common cold.  These are different from SARS-CoV-2 and its related disease, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.  Examples of person to person transmission include:
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
    • Droplets landing in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly that could be inhaled into the lungs.
  • In addition, other destinations have seemingly community spread because some people have been infected who are not sure how or where they became infected.
  • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Patients with COVID-19 have reported mild to severe respiratory symptoms.  Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.  

Yes.   The CDC has developed a new laboratory test to evaluate patient samples for the presence of SARS-CoV-2.  The CDC performs initial and confirmatory testing, as well as laboratories the CDC has designated as qualified, including U.S. state and local public health laboratories, Department of Defense (DOD) laboratories and select international laboratories. The test will not be available in U.S. hospitals or other primary care settings, at this time. 

There are currently no antiviral drugs licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat patients with 2019-nCoV infection, nor a vaccine to prevent onset of COVID-19.  Many companies are working with the CDC to develop treatments at this time.  Vaccine development is not a quick process, but many are working with CDC and the federal officials to support vaccine development as fast as possible.

  • Individual risk depends on exposure to the SARS-CoV-2. 
  • At this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low for the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus.
  • Specific individuals will have an increased risk of infection, such as healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 and other close contacts of persons with COVID-19.
  • Assessment of this risk could change as in time if the spread of the virus increases.

Take Action

  • According to the CDC, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • According to the CDC, if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel from China or other infected areas, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your recent travel or close contact.
  • According to the CDC, if you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from infected areas, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your close contact and their recent travel. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
  • People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately. 
  • Common sense measures are essential to controlling the spread of the disease.  These steps are helpful to reduce the spread of any communicable virus, such as:
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are running a fever, you should not be in close contact with other people.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. This simple measure is the most effective method to control the spread of many viral illnesses. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs thoroughly and often. 
  • Influenza, a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses (Type A and Type B), has high activity in the United States at this time.  Young children, older adults, pregnant women, and those with certain health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, cancer, or HIV/AIDS, are at higher risk for influenza.
  • Everyone 6 months and older should receive an influenza vaccine. 
  • Contact your healthcare provider for suspected flu infection.  Treatment for influenza includes:
    • Antiviral drugs can treat flu illness.
    • Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. Flu antivirals are prescription medicines (pills, liquid, intravenous solution, or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter. Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They also can prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia.
  • SPOTLIGHT: Coronavirus: DOD Response:  The Department of Defense has established a Spotlight page to disseminate the latest information on the outbreak and to highlight coordination efforts with other organizations throughout the U.S. government.  Click the following link to visit the site: https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus/
  • DoD Releases Guidance to Protect Forces from Novel Coronavirus: Explore the following article for the DOD’s January 31st guidance to protect forces: https://health.mil/News/Articles/2020/01/31/DoD-releases-guidance-to-protect-forces-from-novel-coronavirus
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 2019 Novel Coronavirus: The CDC continues to closely monitor an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by 2019-nCoV that was initially detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.  Visit this site for the up-to-date impact of the virus worldwide, risk assessments, traveler guidance and more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
  • World Health Organization (WHO): WHO’s primary role is to direct international health within the United Nations’ system and to lead partners in global health responses. WHO is working closely with global experts, governments and partners to rapidly expand scientific knowledge on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, to track the spread and virulence of the virus, and to provide advice to countries and individuals on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak. Please visit this page for daily updates: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019