Section I. INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this subcourse is to discuss the epidemiology, and the control of
diseases of actual or potential military importance. The viewpoint is that of the
commander and his medical advisors in a war or preparation for war setting.
The commander has an interest in the health of individuals and groups
making initial entry into the Army.
The commander is interested in the threat to troops from disease endemic
orepidemic in areas of the world that is actual or potential battlegrounds
or training grounds.
The commander is interested in non-effectiveness and lost time because of
diseases his command is likely to experience under various circumstances.
The commander's interest is clear-cut, because his responsibility for the
health of those under his command is clearly defined.
Peacetime incidences and experience rates are important considerations, too,
in that communicable diseases, which cannot be eliminated or effectively
controlled in peacetime generally, are the ones most likely to become
epidemic in war.
DISEASE AND INJURY IN WARTIME
History shows that disease and injury, as military problems are factors for which the
military leader must plan. In Table 1-1, the periods of war listed were ones in which
combat was the heaviest. In spite of these concentrated fighting periods, hospital
admissions for disease and non-battle injury far exceeded admissions because of
hostile action of the enemy. Furthermore, experience reveals that hospital admissions
for disease usually exceed hospital admissions for non-battle injury and battle injury
combined. For example, of the 81.8 percent hospital admissions for disease and non-
combat injury in Vietnam in 1969, only 13.7 percent were for nonbattle injury and
68.1percent were for disease.