In the past few years, investigation of the problems of diarrheal disease has resulted in important new information. The specific etiology of many of the diarrheal diseases has been made clear, and there has been improvement in recognition and better reporting of these communicable diseases by public health authorities. It has become apparent, with the development of improved bacteriological diagnostic methods, that a major cause of diarrheal disease is the genus Shigella. The historical aspects of bacillary dysentery have been fully reviewed by Felsen (1945).
During World War II, as noted by Weil (1947), interest in bacillary dysentery was stimulated by a number of outbreaks among operating forces of Allied and Axis commands. In these outbreaks, the paralyzing effect of dysentery on the personnel of military missions was once more emphasized. (Stone, 1947; Mariott, 1945; Cheever, 1946; Gear, 1944).
Captain (Medical Corps) United States Navy, (Ret.). Present address: 300 Homer Ave., Palo Alto, California.
Lieutenant Commander (Medical Service Corps) United States Navy.