Contact health care provider if sick; prevent spread of viruses; TRICARE covers tests and treatment.
Winter is the time of year when viruses like COVID-19, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) become more common. It is important to know what to do if you feel under the weather, so contact your health care provider as soon as possible if you feel sick. Symptoms of these viruses can be similar, and it is not possible to tell the difference between them by symptoms alone. Common symptoms shared by these viruses include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle pain, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Infants less than six months old may have different symptoms than adults, such as irritability, decreased activity and appetite, and trouble breathing. If you or a family member starts to feel sick, contact your primary care provider or the Military Health System Nurse Advice Line for guidance on testing and treatment. TRICARE covers medically necessary lab tests—including COVID-19, flu, and RSV tests—at no cost when they’re ordered by a TRICARE-authorized provider or a provider at a military hospital or clinic.
To prevent catching and spreading viruses, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you’re sick, cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Vaccination is also a key tool for preventing and reducing the severity of COVID-19 and flu. There is no vaccine for RSV.
For more information about COVID-19, flu, and RSV, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website to learn more about risk factors, transmission, symptoms, treatment, and prevention steps for each virus. TRICARE also has more information about coverage for COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines. Stay informed and up-to-date by visiting the TRICARE Subscriptions page to create a personalized profile to get benefit updates, news, and more.