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    Naval Medical Research Center Supports Recruit Training in the Fight Against COVID-19

    COVID-19 testing for arriving poolees at The Citadel

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Rebecca Floto | U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James F. Glynn, commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Naval Medical Research Center

    SILVER SPRING, Maryland –Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) has been on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 from the start and continues to provide scientific support to warfighters with the COVID-19 Health Action Response for Marines (CHARM) study that began May 4 at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island.

    While COVID-19 has impacted Navy Medicine and Naval operations, Cmdr. Carl Goforth, a nurse scientist at NMRC and associate investigator for the CHARM study, has been at the forefront of determining how COVID-19 affects large at-risk training environments, such as Marine Corps recruit training. The primary focus of the research is to maintain maximum health while meeting graduation standards and requirements for recruits during the pandemic.

    The CHARM field research team, which is led by Cmdr. Andrew Letizia, deputy director for NMRC’s Infectious Diseases Directorate, and Goforth, initiated a prospective study for recruits who will stand on the famed yellow footprints at Parris Island. The research team, which also includes three clinical laboratory officers and several Hospital Corpsmen (laboratory technicians and general duty), is mission-focused to support one of the Marine Corps’ fundamental operations: Making Marines.

    The CHARM research team is boosting the Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit Parris Island with unique research expertise to help decrease the spread of COVID-19 at MCRD Parris Island and return recruits to training as quickly and safely as possible.

    Specifically, the CHARM study addresses scientific questions that will assist in increasing medical readiness by creating the right scientific approach to answer those questions, deploying the field laboratory infrastructure, ethically and appropriately enrolling volunteer participants, safely obtaining and processing samples, and sharing data to meet the mission.

    The CHARM study seeks to identify those who are infected with COVID-19 even if they have few or no symptoms as well measure weekly antibody production for those with more severe symptoms. This allows for the immediate implementation of public health measures to limit the spread of the infection.

    The study should also provide a better understanding of the basic immune response of the body in different people to assess why some individuals get very sick while others do not realize they are infected. Finally, the study looks to identify a measurable indicator, or “immunity passport,” that can be calculated in order to safely return recruits and Marines back to the fight even if they are re-exposed to the infection.

    Cmdr. Goforth is the researcher responsible for explaining the study to potential participants and ensuring they have full understanding when they consent to participate, collecting biological specimens, conducting data analysis, and assisting with field laboratory operations.

    As of May 10, the CHARM study has enrolled more than 450 volunteer participants and is at the forefront of all Department of Defense recruit training efforts to study COVID-19 in this unique environment while providing an immediate positive impact on force health protection.



    Date Taken: 06.04.2020
    Date Posted: 06.04.2020 18:05
    Story ID: 371496
    Location: SILVER SPRING, MD, US 

    Web Views: 154
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