FOOD- AND WATER-BORNE DISEASES
Section I. THE DISEASES
a. Diseases of Military Importance. The food- and water-borne diseases of
military importance include bacillary dysentery, the various food poisonings, typhoid and
paratyphoid fever, cholera, unclassified diarrhea, hepatitis, and some of the protozoan
(one-cell animal) and helminthic (worm) infestations. Because of its particular military
significance and various means of transmission, hepatitis will be discussed in a
separate lesson (lesson 7).
b. The Reservoir. The reservoir for most of these diseases is the human
carrier. Animals also serve as reservoirs for some.
c. The Source. The source of infection is infectious excreta or other discharges
from humans or animals.
d. Transmission. Transmission most often occurs when food and, to a lesser
extent, water contaminated with infectious excreta are consumed.
Important in the transmission of these diseases are the so-called Five F
Factors: feces, fingers, foods, flies, and fluids. See Figure 2-1.
Food and water may be fecally contaminated in several ways.
-- Leaky or improperly installed sewer lines in kitchens or near water
sources account for some.
Raw excreta or improperly treated sewage may also contaminate
-- Flies and other arthropods may carry infectious agents from sewage
or dumps to foods.
In most areas of the world, human excreta is used to fertilize foodstuffs.
e. Transmission in the Army. Within the Army, however, the mode of
transmission most commonly found is the contamination of food by infected or
contaminated food handlers.