Diarrheal Diseases

The Eighth Charles Franklin Craig Lecture

George R. Callender Army Medical School, Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.

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Summary and Conclusions

  1. 1. In the past 40 years while it has been possible to differentiate the various causes of diarrheal disease, this has not been done. As a result available data indicate their prevalence only when all diagnoses, diarrhea, dysentery, gastroenteritis and enterocolitis, are grouped under one heading.
  2. 2. An inappreciable proportion of actual bacillary dysentery is so diagnosed but amebic dysentery is diagnosed in a much larger proportion of the total cases.
  3. 3. The use of improvised sanitary installations for the disposal of human waste by troops requires an excellence of sanitary discipline difficult to attain, while the use of unsanitary installations for the same purpose in civil life produces a seedbed which maintains high endemicity and forms the opportunity for epidemics to occur.
  4. 4. Typhoid and dysentery ordinarily increase under the same unsanitary conditions as is proven by past experience in armies. In the present war typhoid vaccine appears to have controlled the incidence of this disease, while bacillary dysentery for which no immunization has been developed has risen in troops to heights equal to those of 20 years ago.

Author Notes

Colonel, medical Corps, U. S. Army.