You washed your hands. You kept 6 feet away from everyone. You avoided touching your face and evaded anyone carrying a tissue or wearing a face mask.
Yet somehow, you have started sneezing and coughing and your chest is congested. Is it the flu (which continues to circulate in the U.S. this season, although cases are on the decline), or have you wound up with the disease du jour, COVID-19, the illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus?
If its COVID-19, what do you do next?
Dr. James Kugler, director of the clinical support division at the Defense Health Agency, says “watching for early symptoms are key.”
“You play an important role in helping to keep yourself and your family healthy,” Kugler in a release from the Defense Health Agency Tuesday.
The first thing you should do if you begin feeling ill is consider whether you might have been exposed to the virus, either by being in contact with a sick person or having recently traveled to a place where the illness is widespread, according to military health officials.
If it’s a possibility, call a registered nurse. For service members and all Tricare beneficiaries, there are many ways to do this, beginning with the unit or battalion aid station or the MHS Nurse Advice Line, 1-800-874-2273, pressing Option 1 in the U.S.
You can also call your military hospital, primary care team or civilian provider, or their appointment lines or reach out by going online to the MHS Nurse Advice Line website, messaging Tricare through Tricare Online, or your health facility through the MHS Genesis portal if your facility is already on the electronic health records system.
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- Public health officials push back on May opening | TheHill – The Hill
- Analysis | The Health 202: Los Angeles is racing to discover the true coronavirus infection rate – The Washington Post
- Some Public Health Officials Not Releasing Coronavirus Hospitalizations : Shots – Health News – NPR
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- Lost Your Health Insurance During the COVID-19 Crisis? Here Are Your Options – The Motley Fool
- El Paso virus cases jump to 35 as health leaders warn of increased risk of ‘community spread’ – KVIA El Paso