U.S. Military Doctors Lead the Fight Against Zika

August 15, 2016 | By Van Hipp |

Today, as in years past, U.S. military doctors are on the front line treating U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force personnel and developing breakthroughs in a wide variety of medical areas that will have long-range implications for civilian healthcare.

In recent years, it is U.S. military medicine that has led the way in wound care, brain health, telemedicine, and rehabilitative care. While other agencies and departments of the federal government are focused on basic medical research, U.S. military physicians are focused more on applied research and saving lives today.

From a taxpayer standpoint, military medicine provides real value to the American taxpayer.

This week, U.S. military doctors will come together once again for their annual Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS). The event will take place in Kissimmee, Fla. and will allow military doctors to share the latest medical breakthroughs and technologies for treating America’s finest.

What began years ago as a combat casualty care conference with a few military physicians participating, has grown into the most authoritative and respected medical conference in the world dedicated to treating the military both on and off the battlefield.

In addition to U.S. Military medical personnel, MHSRS will include NATO and other allied nation medical officials, as well as civilian medical doctors, scientists, health experts, and technology developers. By charging a fee to our allies and the civilians who are participating, America’s military doctors insure that the conference pays for itself at no cost to the American taxpayer.

The rest of the federal government could sure learn from this example.

Over the years, MHSRS and its predecessor combat casualty care conference, has led to many medical advancements. These include the inception of the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM) to help those who have lost limbs on the battlefield, the discovery of blood biomarkers for traumatic brain injury (TBI), hemorrhage control technologies, wound care innovations and many more.

Recently, civilian health authorities hailed a telemedicine platform that has its roots with the U.S. Army’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), as the most cost effective telemedicine platform in America today. In fact, it is TATRC that really paved the way many years ago for the use of telemedicine in the United States.

And how about the first Omega3 wound care product in the world that is now available for American citizens? It was sought out and championed early by the U.S. Navy. And how about the powerful new weapon in the fight against Cytokine Storm?

U.S. Air Force doctors helped make it happen.

Today, the Zika virus has infected well over 40 members of the U.S. Military and the state of Florida has just confirmed 3 new non-travel cases of the Zika virus, bringing the total there to 28. The Zika virus was discovered in Uganda’s Zika Forest in 1947 by the famed Scottish entomologist, Dr. Alexander Haddow. Currently, there is a well-respected researcher at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, M.D. who has long studied Zika and warned of it as a potential widespread threat.

He has been proven right and is now sought out by others for his expertise. His name is Dr. Andrew Haddow and yes, he’s the grandson of the man who discovered the Zika virus.

We should not be surprised that U.S. military medicine is continuing to pave the way with the latest medical advancements in its chief focus on saving American lives today.

U.S. military medicine has a rich and storied history going back to Major Walter Reed’s breakthrough work on yellow fever and Army Surgeon General George Miller Sternberg’s pioneering efforts on bacteriology.

U.S. military medical doctors are not only saving military lives, they are progressing medical research that will continue to benefit all Americans. We live in a dangerous world and these are challenging times. U.S. Military medicine remains on the front line and can be counted on to lead the way to insure our men and women in uniform are cared for on and off the battlefield. We are all fortunate that the nation as a whole will continue to benefit from U.S. Military medical breakthroughs as in years past.


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