Accession Number:



Bacterial Respiratory Infections in the Department of Defense (DOD): Fiscal Years (FY) 2013 - 2015

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,01 Oct 2012,30 Sep 2015

Corporate Author:

NMCPHC Portsmouth United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


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Respiratory illness is a constant threat for military personnel due to crowded and stressful occupational condition.1 Respiratory infections are among the leading causes of medical encounters, in both the ambulatory and hospital setting, among active duty service members and one of the leading causes of ambulatory clinic visits and absenteeism from work or school in the United States US.2,3 This analysis utilized Health Level 7 formatted HL7 Composite Health Care System CHCS microbiology and chemistry data to describe bacterial respiratory infections from 01 October 2012 to 30 September 2015 among all Department of Defense DOD beneficiaries seeking care within the Military Health System MHS. Monthly cases of upper respiratory infections URIs in the surveillance period were higher than the frequency of URIs observed prior to 2012. Frequency of URI cases did not align with expected seasonal variations during FYs 2014 and 2015. Lower respiratory infections LRIs during the surveillance period were also higher than the frequency of LRIs observed in prior time periods and did not align with expected seasonal variations of higher winter and lower summer frequencies. Among URIs and LRIs, for FY 2014 and FY 2015, the volume of cases identified in the winter months were 1.3 - 1.5 times higher compared to the volume identified in FY 2013. Overall, the frequency of URIs and LRIs increased 38.6 and 15.2 , respectively from FY 2013 to FY 2015. Streptococcus species were the most commonly isolated organisms among URIs, while Staphylococcus species were most common among LRIs from FY 2013 to FY 2015. Beneficiaries aged 5 - 17 experienced the highest rates of URIs however, older beneficiaries 65 and older had the highest rates of LRIs. Continued periodic monitoring of bacterial respiratory infections is warranted to track infection trends, identify populations at risk, and aid in the development of clinical guidelines and policies.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Microbiology

Distribution Statement: