the common cold--familiar to everyone--consist of coughing, sneezing, sore throat,
running nose and eyes, and a general ill feeling. It is usually self-limited, running its
course in two to seven days.
b. Adenovirus. Many of the respiratory diseases acquired by recruits are
caused by adenoviruses. These infections are characterized by fever and one or more
symptoms such as chills, headache, general aching, and respiratory signs similar to a
cold or pneumonia. Symptoms and signs usually disappear in two to three days;
however, complications may occur from bacterial infections. Adenovirus vaccine may
be used to help control major outbreaks when authorized by The Surgeon General.
c. German Measles (Rubella). German measles is caused by a virus. It is
primarily a mild childhood disease and is characterized by a low-grade fever, rash,
headache, and sometimes by symptoms resembling the common cold. Though not a
serious illness, rubella is of concern to the Army because of its epidemic nature. It is
also a disease of considerable importance to all young adults since women contracting
the disease during pregnancy may give birth to children with congenital defects.
Immunization with rubella vaccine is recommended for all basic trainees.
d. Influenza (Flu). Influenza is a viral disease with symptoms similar to those of
the common cold accompanied by headache, general aching, and usually a severe and
protracted cough. While generally a self-limited disease lasting two to seven days,
influenza has often occurred in epidemic form and has caused a large number of
deaths. Several types of influenza virus are recognized and vaccines have been
developed for protection against these types of influenza. Current Army practice is to
administer annual influenza immunization to all active duty personnel.
e. Streptococcal Sore Throat. This type of infection is caused by the bacteria
Streptococcus pyogenes, of which there are about 60 different types. Symptoms
include fever, sore throat, and tonsillitis with varying degrees of pus formation. It is
frequently extremely painful and can lead to severe complications. No immunizing
agent is available and the administration of antibiotics is the normal method of
f. Meningococcal (Epidemic Cerebrospinal) Meningitis. This serious, often
fatal, disease is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningtidis. Signs and symptoms
may include any or all of the following: fever, intense headache, nausea, and frequently
a petechial rash and/or stiff neck. (A petechia is a pinpoint, nonraised, perfectly round,
purplish-red spot caused by bleeding under or between the skin layers.) The disease
produces an inflammation of the meninges (the membrane surrounding the brain and
the spinal cord). This disease can result in damage to the brain, contractions of the
spinal cord, and/or death. The possibility of an outbreak of meningococcal meningitis is
most likely to occur in training centers where trainees receive their initial training. A
vaccine against meningococcal meningitis is available for immunizing recruits when so
authorized by The Surgeon General.