IV. Diarrheal Disease Control Studies

The Relationship of Certain Environmental Factors to the Prevalence of Shigella Infection

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  • Communicable Disease Center, U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Thomasville Field Station, Thomasville, Georgia
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The relationship of some general environmental factors to the prevalence of Shigella infections and, more specifically, the effects of the availability of water for washing purposes on shigellosis rates were studied. The areas under observation were divided, either by city blocks, parts of blocks, or premises into groups with similar sanitational features. After each environmental grouping was completed, the infection rates for each of the groups was found.

Three conclusions which are applicable to diarrheal disease control were drawn from the results.

  1. 1.Areas could be defined by using common sanitational standards to indicate potentials for spread of Shigella organisms.
  2. 2.Infection rates of a neighborhood were found to vary with the proportion of poor housing in it.
  3. 3.Infection rates were highest where water was least available for personal hygiene. Consequently, availability of water for washing purposes must be considered along with purity of water in any diarrheal disease control program.

Author Notes

Present address: Division of Special Health Services, Bureau of State Services, U. S. Public Health Service, Washington, D. C.