Epidemiology, Military

Epidemiology, Military

 

the branch of military medicine concerned with the theory and practice of protecting members of the armed forces from epidemics. Military epidemiology studies the origin and spread of infectious diseases among the military in both peacetime and wartime and works out methods of preventing and eradicating diseases. It applies the research methods and scientific advances of general epidemiology to the special living and working conditions of the armed forces.

Military personnel are constantly exposed to epidemics partly because of the movement of vast numbers of people and the deterioration of living conditions. Military casualties from epidemics have often been more numerous than losses on the battlefield. In peacetime the quartering, living habits, and working conditions of military personnel also require special epidemic-control measures. Consequently, military physicians have conducted pioneering work in many branches of general epidemiology, laying the scientific foundation for epidemic control among troops. Under the exceptionally difficult conditions that prevailed during World War II, their well-balanced system was effective in preventing epidemics in the armed forces of the USSR.

I. P. LIDOV

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