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DOD Sites Selected for Phase III COVID-19 Vaccine Trials: Five Medical Treatment Facilities in National Capital Region, San Antonio, and San Diego to Participate
As part of the Operation Warp Speed (OWS) goal to deliver safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics by January 2021, five DoD locations have been identified to participate in the Phase III trial evaluating the vaccine candidate AZD1222 under development by AstraZeneca.
“The Department of Defense continues to play a key role in the development of a potential COVID-19 vaccine,” said Honorable Tom McCaffery, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. “Now that vaccines have passed the first phases of testing for safety, dosing and response, we are ready to move into the next phase where volunteers are needed to join large clinical studies. We are excited to have several sites identified to support the next steps in the vaccine development process.”
The DoD sites selected are:
- Naval Medical Center San Diego (Site Code: NMSD)
- Joint Base San Antonio Brooke Army Medical Center (Site Code: BAMC)
- Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center (San Antonio) (Site Code: WHASC)
- Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Bethesda, MD) (Site Code: WRMC) and
- Fort Belvoir Community Hospital (Fort Belvoir, VA) (Site Code FBCH)
In its continued efforts to provide resources to service members and their families, the Department of Defense issued an info sheet highlighting a few of the many resources available to help those who may be coping with an experience of sexual assault.
As service members continue to experience daily challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOD wants everyone to know that assistance for sexual assault remains available for all service members and their dependents.
SEMBACH, Germany — The Army had the highest rate of alcohol-related trips to the hospital between 2009 and 2018, according to a recently released report on alcohol abuse in the military conducted by the Military Health System.
The Army was followed by the Marine Corps, Navy and then Air Force, according to the Defense Department study, which did not include the Coast Guard.
The good news for those experiencing problems controlling their alcohol intake is that Soldiers can now seek treatment for alcohol abuse without fear of career consequence thanks to an Army directive signed in March 2019 by then Secretary Of The Army Mark Esper.
Army Directive 2019-12 “allows Soldiers who meet specific criteria to receive care without notification to their commanders, as long as the criteria for non-notification are met and maintained throughout voluntary care,” said Dr. Cheryl Owen, the regional manager for Substance Use Disorders Clinical Care at Regional Health Command Europe.
The last week in July showed a sizeable slowdown in the increase of coronavirus cases among service members, from a peak of more than 4,000 cases in one week earlier in the month.
With a total of 27,536 infections as of Friday morning, Defense Department officials have attributed the rapid rise in cases to increased testing and community transmission in states like California, Arizona, Texas and Florida, which set records for new numbers of cases throughout the month.
“We’ve not seen any widespread evidence that what’s occurring in the 18-to-24 demographic is because they’re not following the rules,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul Friedrichs, the Joint Staff surgeon said Thursday, announcing that young people in the military were showing a slightly higher infection rate than American young adults.
The services saw a 15-percent rise in cases in the last week, or 3,593 new diagnoses. The leveling off came after July 24′s numbers showed major increases of the rate of new infections in the Air Force (58 percent), Marine Corps (55 percent) and National Guard (41 percent).
Those increases corresponded to surges within states with large numbers of those troops, namely Florida, Texas and California. In addition to local governments relaxing stay-at-home orders in those states, the services have also opened up non-essential travel in Texas, though Florida, Michigan and California remain the only closed states.
The best easy-to-find material for a homemade face covering to protect against coronavirus transmission is four-ply microfiber cloth, according to Army researchers at the service’s Combat Capabilities Development Command.
Researchers with the command’s Chemical Biological Center said in a Wednesday news release that the four-ply microfiber cloth, which can be found in the cleaning section of most big box stores, filters out more than 75 percent of particles.
An N-95 mask, the protective covering in short supply among hospital workers who need it most, is able to filter out 90 percent of particles, they said.
Layering a polyester bandanna can filter out about 40 percent of suspended particles, the release added. Officials from the command did not immediately respond to a request for comment asking how well the neck gaiters perform, which are commonly worn by soldiers.
The team made the determinations after testing more than 50 materials — with more tests ongoing — by spraying a salt aerosol at a piece of the chosen material.
The salt particles used to test the filter were 0.2-0.3 microns in size. Coronavirus is roughly 0.1 microns in size, but the virus floats around in droplets expelled by infected persons that are anywhere from 0.2 to a several microns in size or larger.
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, which aims to raise awareness concerning disorders of speech, hearing, voice, and language. The Army Hearing Program is committed to hearing loss prevention and reducing noise hazards.
Roughly 40 million adults in the United States report difficulty hearing, and the most common cause of hearing loss is noise exposure.
“Hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) are the top two service-connected injuries in the military,” said Capt. Theresa Galan, the Army hearing program manager at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. “Noise-induced hearing loss is painless, progressive, permanent and nearly always preventable.”
The Army Hearing Program works to prevent hearing loss through unit and individual education, hearing protection devices, hearing monitoring services, and range and hazardous noise area inspections.
Nearly 3,000 service members have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the Defense Department’s latest data, with about 2,300 cases still active and almost 1,000 new cases added in each of the last two weeks.
With 2,986 cases among troops, the military’s infection rate now stands at 1,421-per-million, or 0.14 percent. That’s compared to the overall U.S. rate of 1,932-per-million, or 0.2 percent.
The Navy saw its cases rise above 1,000 this week, hitting 1,017 on Friday. Much of that surge has come from 100-percent testing aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, which has been pierside in Guam for nearly two weeks following an outbreak.
Of 4,800 sailors on board, about 4,500 had been tested as of Friday morning. Of 660 positive tests, more than half have come from asymptomatic sailors, senior Pentagon leadership confirmed this week.
The U.S. military on Wednesday denounced what it described as provocative maneuvers by Iranian vessels near American naval and Coast Guard ships in the Persian Gulf.
In a statement, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said 11 small vessels belonging to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy conducted “dangerous and harassing approaches” toward a fleet of American ships, including the USS Lewis B. Puller, an expeditionary mobile base vehicle, and the USS Paul Hamilton, a destroyer.
The American ships were carrying out operations with Army Apache helicopters in the northern Gulf, the statement said.
The Iranian vessels “repeatedly crossed the bows and sterns of the U.S. vessels at extremely close range and high speeds, including multiple crossings of the Puller with a 50 yard closest point of approach and within 10 yards” of a Coast Guard ship’s bow, according to the military.
Army has 288 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — 100 are soldiers, 64 are civilian employees, 65 are dependents, nine are cadets and 50 are Army contractors.
Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville and others briefed reporters at the Pentagon today on steps the service is taking in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. They spoke about force health protection, coronavirus testing and how the service maintains its combat effectiveness.
The Army has also reached out to retired personnel who have the qualifications to help in the fight against COVID-19.
The Army has 288 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — 100 are soldiers, 64 are civilian employees, 65 are dependents, nine are cadets and 50 are Army contractors.
McConville said that the service is rushing two field hospitals to the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City.
The 531st Army Hospital from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and the 9th Army Hospital from Fort Hood, Texas, received orders to deploy to New York City on March 23.
The Army is gauging interest from retired officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers who would be willing to assist with the coronavirus pandemic response effort should their skills and expertise be required, according to an email sent out Wednesday afternoon and provided to Army Times.
“These extraordinary challenges require equally extraordinary solutions and that’s why we’re turning to you — trusted professionals capable of operating under constantly changing conditions,” the email reads. “When the Nation called — you answered, and now, that call may come again.”
The email listed a series of Army health care jobs that would be of interest: 60F, critical care officer; 60N, anesthesiologist; 66F, nurse anesthetist; 66S, critical care nurse; 66P, nurse practitioner; 66T, emergency room nurse; 68V, respiratory specialist; and 68W, medic.
The message included an email signature for Lt. Gen. Thomas C. Seamands, the Army deputy chief of staff for manpower.
An Army spokesperson said the email was part of their department’s effort to gauge “availability and capabilities” of retired career medical personnel to assist with the pandemic if needed.
It can happen without warning: you slip in the shower and hit your head, a car swerves and hits you, a small stroke occurs and suddenly you can’t speak, your mobility is limited, and your world shrinks.
These are real-life examples of the often intractable effects of traumatic brain injury or TBI. And thanks to the groundbreaking work of Dr. Mark L. Gordon and a handful of forward-looking physicians, there’s new hope for the 1.7 million Americans afflicted with this condition.
Using cutting-edge hormone replacement techniques, Gordon and his colleagues are helping to change the way we think about traumatic brain injuries, their symptoms – and how to treat them effectively. In his clinical practice, Dr. Gordon is developing new protocols that may revolutionize the devastating impact of traumatic brain injuries. One of the biggest patient populations in need of urgent care are the soldiers returning from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Our story begins with them.
Starting with Soldiers
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often referred to as the “signature wound” of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Traumatic brain injury occurs when a sudden trauma to the head disrupts brain function. In both these wars, however, even close proximity to the force of an explosion can be just as devastating. Most of the reported traumatic brain injury among Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans has been traced to improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.
“Traumatic brain injury can be caused by a direct impact, or by acceleration alone,” explains Dr. Mark L. Gordon, interventional endocrinologist and traumatic brain injury treatment specialist at Millennium Health Centers in Los Angeles. “Brain trauma also causes secondary injury, which takes place in the minutes and days following the injury,” he adds. “These processes include alterations in cerebral blood flow and increased pressure within the skull, contributing substantially to damage from the initial injury.”
Gordon says traumatic brain injury can cause a host of physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects, some of which can be difficult to detect. Symptoms can appear immediately or weeks to years following the injury. “Insidious traumatic brain injury can be difficult to detect,” Gordon says. “Localized damage to the frontal and occipital lobes occurs when the brain collides with the skull. Increasingly, we are discovering that traumatic brain injury is also a causative factor for accelerated hormonal deficiencies.” These deficiencies, says Gordon, can cause a host of psychological, physiological, and physical manifestations, including depression, outbursts of anger, anxiety, mood swings, memory loss, inability to concentrate, learning disabilities, sleep deprivation, increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, loss of libido, menstrual irregularities, premature menopause, obesity, loss of lean body mass, muscular weakness, and a number of other medically documented conditions.
The Army’s chief of Staff said Friday that the service has asked every medical unit to assess their capabilities in the event that they are needed to respond to areas hit hard by the potentially deadly novel coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this week, the Army gave two combat support hospitals (CSH) — one at Joint Base Lewis-McCord, Washington, and the other at Fort Campbell, Kentucky — a “prepare to deploy order” as the U.S. government wrestles with how best to help communities if the spread of COVID-19 intensifies, Gen. James McConville told reporters at the Pentagon.
He said the Army has also given a “warning order to all our Role 3 hospitals,” facilities staffed and equipped to provide care to all categories of patients, to include resuscitation, initial wound surgery, specialty surgery and post-operative care.
“Every [medical] unit in the United States Army has been told to take a look at their capabilities and capacity so they can come back to us,” he added.