Journal Article

The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases to Military Medicine and International Public Health

Daryl J. Kelly, Allen L. Richards, Joseph Temenak, Daniel Strickman and Gregory A. Dasch

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 34, issue Supplement_4, pages S145-S169
Published in print June 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online June 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/339908
The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases to Military Medicine and International Public Health

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Morbidity and mortality caused by rickettsioses have had a major influence on military activities and public health for >2000 years. The threat posed by the rickettsioses is reviewed, focusing on the impact and epidemiology of those that have adversely influenced wartime operations and the current challenges posed by these diseases. With their uneven worldwide distribution, the discovery of drug-refractory strains of Orientia tsutsugamushi, the increased threat of their use in acts of bioterrorism, frequent deployment of troops to regions of endemicity, and exposures due to increased humanitarian missions, these diseases continue to be a threat to military personnel in the field. Effective strategies to reduce the impact of these diseases include development of effective vaccines, enhanced surveillance, and development of new safe, effective, and odorless repellants. The continuation of a proven, highly productive military infectious disease research program is essential for providing solutions to these daunting tasks.

Journal Article.  20506 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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