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A Prospective Study of Acute Diarrhea in a Cohort of United States Military Personnel on Deployment to the Multinational Force and Observers, Sinai, Egypt

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  • United States Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Cairo, Egypt; Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

To better understand the epidemiology of diarrhea in deployed personnel to the Middle East, a prospective cohort study of travelers' diarrhea (TD) was conducted between May 2004 and January 2005 at the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) camp in the southern Sinai. A baseline entry questionnaire and stool specimen was provided on study entry, and volunteers were followed every 6 weeks. Of 211 volunteers, 145 (68.7%) completed one or more follow-up visits. In total, 416 follow-up surveys were completed, which described an overall incidence of 25.2 episodes per 100 person months (95% confidence interval = 21.2–30.0). Additionally, stools were collected in 72 of 77 diarrhea-associated clinic visits, with bacterial pathogens most commonly isolated (enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli in 30 [42%] samples and Campylobacter jejuni in 7 [10%] samples) Despite modern preventive methods, diarrhea is still a common problem for deployed US military personnel in Egypt, frequently resulting in diminished ability to work.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Mark S. Riddle, Enteric Diseases Department, Naval Medical Research Center, 503 Robert Grant Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910. E-mail: mark.riddle@med.navy.mil

Financial support: This study was supported by funding under the Department of Defense Military Infectious Diseases Research Program under work unit number A20019_05_N3.

Authors' addresses: Mark S. Riddle, Enteric Diseases Department, Naval Medical Research Center, Silver Spring, MD, E-mail: mark.riddle@med.navy.mil. David M. Rockabrand and Marshall R. Monteville, Clinical Trials and Military Studies (CTMS), Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, E-mails: david.rockabrand@med.navy.mil and marshall.monteville@med.navy.mil. Carey Schlett, Infectious Disease Clinical Research Center, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD, E-mail: cschlett@idcrp.org. Robert W. Frenck, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, E-mail: Robert.Frenck@cchmc.org. Marcy Romine - Address Unknown. Salwa F. Ahmed and John W. Sanders, Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, E-mails: salwa.fuoad.eg@med.navy.mil and john.sanders@med.navy.mil.

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