Various studies of barracks and wards have shown that the bacterial
and viral populations in the air are directly proportional to the number of people in the
area and to the degree of their activity.
Thus, in inhabited areas, when the dust content of the air is high, the
level of bacterial and viral contamination of the air is likewise high.
b. Susceptibility in Recruits. Epidemiological experience in the military has
shown that there is a much higher susceptibility to the respiratory infections in recruits
as compared to the veterans or "seasoned" soldiers. Evidence shows that the
incidence of respiratory disease decreases as the length in the military service
c. Lowered Resistance in Recruits. Some investigators consider the new
environment found by the recruit when first entering the service to be an important
psychological factor in lowered resistance.
(1) Reasons for lowered resistance
He is homesick and away from his established routine of habits.
He becomes exposed to strange and unfamiliar surroundings, and
the emotional stress is particularly high.
The fatigue and physical exhaustion found in the early training
program might be an important aspect.
(2) The result. All these may lower the recruit's resistance to respiratory
infections. This is particularly true for the common respiratory diseases. One theory is
that the causative virus agents may remain in a latent state in the nasopharynx and
become active in periods of lowered resistance.
LOWERED RESISTANCE IN RECRUITS
Away from routine of habits
High stress level
Fatigued/physically exhausted in early training