Back to Top Skip to main content

Joint efforts in search of a cure for tropical diseases

Dr. Gissella Vasquez, deputy director of the Entomology Department at the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6, inspects a vector trap at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The Joint Task Force-Bravo Medical Element, NAMRU- 6 and the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences partnered for an ongoing tropical disease study, testing live samples and collecting vectors that could be potential carriers for diseases. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Pinel) Dr. Gissella Vasquez, deputy director of the Entomology Department at the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6, inspects a vector trap at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The Joint Task Force-Bravo Medical Element, NAMRU- 6 and the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences partnered for an ongoing tropical disease study, testing live samples and collecting vectors that could be potential carriers for diseases. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Pinel)

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses | Health Readiness

Malaria. Dengue. Zika.

Infectious diseases affecting millions in South, Central America and the Caribbean where hundreds of service members are deployed to yearly.

The Joint Task Force-Bravo Medical Element, the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6 and the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences partnered for an ongoing tropical disease study in Honduras, testing live samples and collecting potential carriers for diseases.

 “These are diseases that could potentially impact broad population segments,” said Army 1st Lt. Isavelita Goodearly, public health nurse with JTF-Bravo MEDEL. “When we test those individuals we are not only directly impacting that group of people; the indirect impact from studying these diseases could affect millions.”

Trujillo, Colon and the Mosquito Coast have the highest incidence of malaria in Honduras. These are also areas where JTF-Bravo participates in multiple humanitarian missions. These areas represent an important interest for NAMRU-6, whose mission is to detect infectious disease threats of military and public health importance.

“We have a lot of service members coming through these areas classified as red zones for these types of illnesses,” said Dr. Ricardo Aviles, medical liaison, JTF-Bravo MEDEL. “For the preventive medicine portion of MEDEL, this mission and training is crucial because we are in this environment; we face these illnesses all the time.”

Currently there are no specific medications for the treatment of these vector-borne diseases and the entomologists at NAMRU-6 work diligently to help develop vector control strategies against them.

“What we are doing is simultaneously collecting vectors and teaching the group of medics everything about the different methods we use to gather specimens and the habitat of vectors in endemic areas,” said Dr. Gissella Vasquez, deputy director of the Entomology Department at NAMRU-6.

Dr. Vasquez and her team from Peru visited malaria and leishmaniasis prone areas and taught the doctors, students and host nation entomology technicians how to identify breeding sites, adults and larvae. The team also worked with MEDEL preventive medicine personnel on base to prepare them on how to collect samples, as well.

Live case studies

While deployed in the Trujillo area, the multi-faceted team performed rapid malaria tests, collected blood samples and created blood smear slides for analysis at the national Ministry of Health Laboratory, screening a total of 108 patients.

While on location they also tested an ill Marine who was working on a humanitarian mission.

“He looked critically ill,” said Goodearly. “My mission was to bring his blood back to Soto Cano so it could get tested and we are currently trying to identify what he has and are also working with the lab results.”

The service member’s blood tested positive for dengue and is receiving medical treatment. From the patients tested in the community only one person tested positive.

“Studying these diseases gives us the potential to find cures, find ways to treat, find ways to prevent and minimize incidences from occurring,” said Goodearly. “We are in a place where malaria is prevalent so we have to be aware and take our vaccines and malaria prophylaxis.”

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

McCaffery AMSUS Remarks 2019

Publication
12/5/2019

McCaffery statements made during the 2019 annual meeting of AMSUS

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

McCaffery calls for military medical strategic framework for warfighting readiness

Article
12/5/2019
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery speaks on Thursday at the annual meeting of AMSUS, the Society of Federal Health Professionals. McCaffery announced to the nearly 2,000 conference attendees that he has asked the Military Health System's senior leadership to develop and codify a formal strategic framework to guide integrating and optimizing all MHS components to meet his vision. (MHS photo)

'New reality' includes tight synchronization, expanding partnerships

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | MHS Transformation

Network of researchers advancing warfighter readiness

Article
12/4/2019
Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Payne, the assistant director for Combat Support at DHA, delivered the keynote address at the Global Emerging Infections Surveillance Scientific and Programmatic Advancement Meeting, GSPAM. He emphasized the importance of Force Health Protection measures and linked the GEIS mission to DHA’s combat support mission. (DoD photo)

In fiscal year 2020, GEIS awarded approximately $60 million to more than 20 DoD laboratories and U.S. government partners

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Global Health Engagement | Global Emerging Infections Surveillance

Ship-based Global Health Engagement

Article
12/4/2019
Navy Capt. Heather King, executive director of the TriService Nursing Research Program at the Uniformed Services University, details the process of ship-based global health engagement missions during the October 22, 2019, Medical Museum Science Café titled "Ship-Based Global Health Engagement Missions: Expanding Global Partnerships" at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland. (NMHM photo)

Global health engagement is an important priority for military medicine

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | National Museum of Health and Medicine

World AIDS Day puts spotlight on landmark DoD study

Article
12/2/2019
Dr. John Mascola, director of the National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center, discusses HIV vaccine progress at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Nov. 26, during a World AIDS Day commemoration.  (U.S. Army photo)

Vaccine study shows infection risk lowered by 31 percent, offering hope for future

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Research and Innovation | Global Health Engagement

Military medical reform is an opportunity to make trauma care better

Article
11/21/2019
Army Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, U.S. Army Surgeon General, spoke to surgeons at the Defense Committee on Trauma and Committees on Surgical and En Route Combat Casualty Care Conference held in San Antonio, Texas, on November 13. He spoke about the plans for current and future trauma and surgical initiatives within Army Medicine and that surgeons must be involved in improving trauma care during this time of military medical reform. (U.S. Army Image by Rebecca Westfall)

There is an opportunity to bring real change to how the military handles combat trauma care

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Preventing seasonal influenza

Article
11/13/2019
Air Force Staff Sgt. Jaqueline Mbugua and members of the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 102nd Medical Group traveled to the Roxy Theater on Joint Base Cape Cod to provide flu shots to Airmen Nov. 2, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Thomas Swanson).

The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated every year

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Immunization Healthcare | Immunizations

USNS Comfort strengthens partnership with Jamaica

Article
11/7/2019
Navy Cmdr. Sara Naczas, a nurse assigned to the hospital ship USNS Comfort, helps a boy roll his yo-yo at a temporary medical treatment site in Kingston, Jamaica. Comfort is working with health and government partners in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean to provide care on the ship and at a temporary medical treatment site, helping to relieve pressure on national medical systems, including those strained by an increase in cross-border migrants. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Maria G. Llanos)

This marks the Comfort’s third visit to Jamaica

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

The art of moulage

Article
11/6/2019
Combat Medic Training program students at the Medical Education and Training Campus at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston conduct an emergency cricothyrotomy on a “casualty” during simulation training. The “wounded” manikin also presents with facial burns that were created with moulage techniques. (DoD photo by Lisa Braun)

METC combat medic manikins rock realistic wounds

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

MSMR Vol. 26 No. 11 - November 2019

Report
11/1/2019

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Editorial: Mitigating the risk of disease from tick-borne encephalitis in U.S. military populations; Tick-borne encephalitis surveillance in U.S. military service members and beneficiaries, 2006–2018; Case report: Tick-borne encephalitis virus infection in beneficiaries of the U.S. military healthcare system in southern Germany; Update: Cold weather injuries, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2014–June 2019

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Honduran MEDRETEs provide invaluable surgical, training opportunities

Article
10/30/2019
Air Force Maj. Julia Nuelle, chief of Orthopaedic Hand and Microvascular Surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center, poses for a photo with a pediatric patient and her mother during a Medical Readiness Exercise in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The team finished their mission by visiting their patients and delivering toys and coloring books to the hospital's pediatric ward. (Courtesy photo by Army Lt. Col. Lori Tapley)

MEDRETEs play a critical role in the training and readiness of military medical personnel

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Comfort strengthens partnership following successful medical mission

Article
10/21/2019
Navy Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Benjamin Lazarus flies in an MH-60S Seahawk assigned to the “Dragon Whales” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28, as it transports supplies from the hospital ship USNS Comfort for a temporary medical treatment site in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Morgan K. Nall)

More than 800 medical professionals provided care for 3,677 patients

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

The Defense Health Agency participates in AUSA 2019 annual meeting

Article
10/18/2019
U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, DHA Director, discusses upcoming Military Health System changes designed to improve the readiness of combat forces during a seminar held at the Association of the United States Army 2019 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C.  Lt. Gen. Place explained how DHA is standardizing systems to improve healthcare across the enterprise.  (DHA Photo by Hannah Wagner)

Focus on quality care, innovation at home and on the battlefield

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Preventive Health

The Military Training Network transitions to the Defense Health Agency

Article
10/11/2019
The Military Training Network or MTN transferred from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences to the Defense Health Agency in September 2019. MTN oversees basic, advanced, and pediatric life-support training for more than 350,000 medical and non-medical personnel at 345 military facilities around the globe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer)

Shift speeds training where it’s needed most

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

The Head, Hand, and Heart of Women’s Health

Article
10/4/2019
Maintaining peak health is critical for all military personnel. This month, we focus on women whose health concerns and symptoms may be different from those in men. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Roger Jackson)

Health is universal for military personnel and civilians, but some health concerns affect women differently. Here are a few examples.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Women's Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 46

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.