it may be necessary to give several doses of the vaccine at intervals of a few weeks or
a few months. This is called the initial series. Therefore, because the immunity is
gradually lost, it may be necessary to have "booster" doses at periodic intervals in order
to restore an adequate level of resistance. At present, effective artificial immunization is
available against a limited number of diseases including typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria,
cholera, epidemic typhus, plague, yellow fever, German measles, poliomyelitis, and
influenza. Artificial immunization, however, does not provide absolute protection
against the specific disease nor does it protect against other diseases. Consequently,
protective measures such as personal hygiene and sanitation must never be relaxed
because a person has been "immunized."
b. General Good Health. The body fights against disease-producing
organisms. If successful, the disease-producing organisms may be destroyed before
the person becomes ill. Some individuals are more susceptible to diseases than others.
These include young children (their immune defenses have not fully developed), the
aged (their immune defenses have diminished), people on inadequate diets, people
who are ill or have chronic diseases such as diabetes, people receiving certain types of
medical therapy such as cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, people suffering from
shock, and people who have open wounds (especially burn wounds). Separating high-
risk persons from people with known infections and people who have been exposed to
certain diseases will help to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Providing
nutritional supplements will help people who are malnourished or undernourished to
Section III. RESPIRATORY DISEASES
1-17. CLASSIFICATION OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
Communicable diseases may be classified into five general groups: respiratory,
intestinal, arthropod-borne, venereal, and miscellaneous. These groups differ in the
manner in which the diseases are transmitted and controlled in addition to differing in
their effects. Respiratory communicable diseases are discussed in this section. The
other four groups of communicable diseases are discussed in Sections IV through VII.
Each section also discusses how that type of disease is spread and methods for
preventing the spread of that type of disease.
1-18. PRINCIPAL RESPIRATORY DISEASES
Respiratory infections are the greatest cause of sickness in the Army. They
occur the year round, but they are most common during winter and spring. While all
troops are affected, the highest rates of infection occur among unseasoned troops. The
principal respiratory among military populations are the common cold, adenovirus,
German measles, influenza, meningitis, and streptococcal sore throat.
a. Common Cold. The common cold is probably the most frequently occurring
respiratory disease. It is caused by any of a large number of viruses. The symptoms of