1. Infectious Diseases of Military Importance (Thailand, Kenya, Israel)
Description: The Infectious Disease Research Program has international agreements for cooperative research to develop vaccines for the prevention of dysentery, malaria, and dengue fever.
Dysentery caused by Shigella leads to severe diarrhea. During Operation Desert Shield/Storm, diarrheal disease became a major threat to U.S. forces: 57 percent of troops had at least one episode of diarrhea, and 20 percent reported they were temporarily incapacitated. The leading cause of lost duty time during Operation Restore Hope was acute diarrhea.
Malaria has long been a serious problem for military forces, especially during combat. Malaria is the world's most common insect-borne parasitic disease. During Operation Desert Shield/Storm, troops in Southern Iraq became infected with vivax malaria. More recently, troops were infected with vivax or falciparum malaria while serving in Somalia for Operation Restore Hope. Treatment of this deadly disease is complicated by the increasing incidence of drug-resistant strains.
Dengue fever is the world's most common mosquito-borne viral disease. Dengue fever was encountered during the Vietnam War and, more recently, in Somalia. It poses a serious problem whenever military forces are deployed to the tropics.
Dr. Rodney Smith
Army Materiel Command
5001 Eisenhower Blvd
Alexandria, VA 22333-0001