As the zika virus spreads and more and more cases are discovered in the southern U.S., you’re probably wondering: “what do I do if I think I have Zika?”
I asked that very question to Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, who heads up the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and Tricare. What should military spouses and families do if they are worried about Zika?
Here’s what she told me.
First, be informed.
The DHA website, Health.mil, has amassed a whole slew of mosquito-born illness information, with tons about Zika, Bono said.
“It’s really a very informative piece that targets the patients,” she said. “There’s also information in there that we can use for the installations. What should a post or installation commander be aware of?”
More than anything, she said, the information is empowering.
“That would be the first advice I give folks: here’s some information,” she said.
You can find all their Zika information — and there kind of a crazy amount — on the website here.
Next, know where to go.
So let’s say you’ve read all that Zika information on Health.mil and you’re thinking, yup, you may still have a problem? What next?
Hit up your primary care provider (PCM), Bono said.
Bono said Tricare will cover Zika virus testing if your doctor orders it. So if you think you need to be seen or have a concern that you do have the virus, you should contact your PCM.
“Wherever you’re enrolled, whoever your PCM is, call your PCM and express a concern,” she said.