Back to Top Skip to main content

COVID-19: Know symptoms and next steps to help ensure full recovery

Soldier taking the temperature of another soldier Sgt. Kate Cole, a medic with the 209th Regiment (Regional Training Institute) does a temperature check for Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, Nebraska adjutant general, as he enters Memorial Hall for an officer candidate commissioning ceremony March 20, 2020, at the Camp Ashland Training Site, Nebraska. (Nebraska National Guard photo by Sgt. Lisa Crawford)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Sore throat, aching muscles, stuffy nose – are you feeling sick because of seasonal allergies, a cold, or could your symptoms be a sign of COVID-19?

Many people may be concerned about catching this new respiratory virus that leads to COVID-19 disease, and that's understandable. Since the first reports in late December, about 3 million people around the world have tested positive. That number includes approximately 981,000 confirmed cases in the United States as of April 28, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The good news: Most people who become infected will recover, according to the CDC, and without needing special medical treatment. So there's no need to panic if you get sick. What's important is knowing what to do next to help ensure a full recovery and avoid infecting someone else.

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, and shortness of breath. The CDC says these symptoms can occur anywhere from two days to two weeks after becoming infected. Other symptoms may include muscle pain, headache, chills, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell.

Emergency warning signs that require immediate medical attention include trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure, and bluish lips or face. The CDC advises anyone experiencing these symptoms to call 911. If possible, put on a face covering before medical help arrives.

Some people may become seriously ill from COVID-19 and have difficulty breathing. The virus may be especially dangerous for people who have chronic or long-term health conditions that affect the immune system. Those conditions include heart or lung disease, diabetes, treatment for cancer, and HIV/AIDS.

For cases that are not emergencies, experts advise people to stay home. Don't go to a military treatment facility or urgent care clinic because that may expose others to the virus. Instead, contact the MHS Nurse Advice Line. Registered nurses will screen for COVID-19 exposure or infection. They also will offer advice for self-care and, if appropriate, coordinate virtual appointments with health care providers. Nurses also may make a referral to visit a health care provider in person.

“Virtual care has become valuable for health care providers and patients during the coronavirus pandemic,” said U.S. Public Health Service Lt. Bobby Taylor, program manager for the MHS Nurse Advice Line.

“This resource allows you to practice social distancing and still get the answers to your health questions and concerns.”

The CDC offers advice for managing COVID-19 symptoms at home. It includes resting, staying hydrated, and monitoring symptoms to make sure they don't get worse. Sick people also should isolate themselves from others, including family members. That may require staying in separate rooms of the house and using a separate bathroom, if possible.

Health care providers can offer guidance for when sick people can stop isolating. Typical guidelines include at least seven days since symptoms first appeared, improvement of symptoms, and at least three days with no fever while staying off fever-reducing medications.

TRICARE beneficiaries can sign up for email updates and get the latest information on COVID-19, including emergency and urgent care options and pharmacy home deliveries.

Health care providers and military families at MTFs receive CDC-based guidance on COVID-19 through the Defense Health Agency, said Army Col. (Dr.) Jennifer Kishimori, director of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear medical countermeasures policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.

"We are working to communicate current CDC guidance for public health, hospital preparedness, patient evaluation, infection control, laboratory testing, and health risk communication, in coordination with the Joint Staff," she said.

This guidance ensures any patient with a risk of infection receives the proper care and testing, and that public health authorities are notified of all cases.

You also may be interested in...

COVID-19 Vaccine Headed to NMC San Diego and NH Camp Pendleton

Article
12/15/2020
Gloved hands preparing vaccine for transportation

[T]he first doses of the vaccine will be given to frontline health care workers and first responders, including emergency medical services personnel, security forces, and other essential personnel.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Frontline health care workers among first in DOD for COVID-19 vaccine

Article
12/15/2020
Man getting vaccine

"This is a very important day, not just for the Department of Defense, but for our nation," Miller said before getting his vaccination.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

National Guard and Reservists doing their part to fight COVID-19

Article
12/14/2020
Military personnel performing nasal swabs of people in a row of cars

“We can do a thousand tests in just a couple hours,” Keller said. It was an example of ingenuity taking place all over the country, with members of the Military Health System partnering with civilian hospitals and clinics.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

COVID-19 Convalescent plasma collection continues

Article
12/14/2020
Three units of CCP laying on a table

CCP has a one-year shelf life, so collected units will begin to expire in 2021.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

Hepburn: DOD role in Operation Warp Speed was ‘transformative’

Article
12/11/2020
Medical technician getting a syringe ready to give a vaccine

The FDA announced on Dec. 8 that its review of the Pfizer vaccine found it to be safe and efficacious.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Vaccine Trials | Coronavirus

Deputy defense secretary stresses team approach in battling COVID

Article
12/10/2020
Soldier wearing mask, standing at computer monitors in an office building

The Military Health System has played an important role implementing the National Defense Strategy, Norquist said.

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Health Readiness

DOD Officials Announce Distribution Plan for Initial COVID-19 Vaccine

Article
12/10/2020
Image of Mr. McCaffery speaking at a podium at the Pentagon

DOD is expected to receive around 44,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the initial phase.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DoD COVID 19 Vaccine Distribution Plan and Population Schema

Publication
12/10/2020

Regarding the initial COVID-19 vaccination rollout, Defense Department officials announced a phased and coordinated strategic plan for distributing and administering the initial COVID-19 vaccines.

Recommended Content:

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

MHS leaders discuss future of military medicine during AMSUS panel

Article
12/9/2020
Military personnel, wearing masks, standing in a line in front of flags

For Dingle, readiness is the key issue during the transition.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program | MHS Transformation

DOD Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan

Article
12/9/2020
Soldier wearing mask, sitting in front of computer monitors

The Department prioritizes DOD personnel to receive the vaccine based on CDC guidance.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Malmstrom AFB airmen battle COVID-19, execute the mission

Article
12/8/2020
Soldier wearing protective gear leaning into a car to chat with other soldier

"The whole point of public health is to prevent any type of spread."

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Pandemic underscores MHS’ need for reform, McCaffery tells AMSUS

Article
12/8/2020
Army soldier gets nose swab

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the MHS had embarked on reforms and initiatives to improve its medical support to the armed services.

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Vaccine Trials | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Executive Order on Ensuring Access to United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines

Policy

This EO outlines who should receive priority access to COVID-19 vaccines developed in the United States or procured by the United States Government (“United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines”).

DOD continues to increase COVID-19 test capacity

Article
12/7/2020
Technician wearing gloves putting a sample into a container

In March as the first wave of the pandemic spread, there were only 15 testing sites able to perform 1,000 tests per week.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine Guidance

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance on the provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is the lead coordinating DoD Component for executing this guidance, in coordination with the Military Departments and other DoD Components.

<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10  ... > >> 
Showing results 76 - 90 Page 6 of 26

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.