Prospective Study of Respiratory Infections at the U.S. Naval Academy
Rept. for 1998-1999
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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During the winters of 1995 through 1997, college students midshipmen at the US Naval Academy suffered epidemics of upper respiratory tract infections of unknown causes. We sought to determine to measure the impact of respiratory diseases and to determine etiology. Over the 11 months of active surveillance, 85 midshipmen sought medical attention for acute respiratory disease and were evaluated with PCR, serologic studies, and culture for acute respiratory disease etiology. Among these 85, there was considerable evidence for respiratory pathogen infection Chlamydia pneumoniae in 52.6, Mycoplasma pneumoniae in 33.3, influenza in 14.2, Streptococcus pneumoniae in 7.3, and adenovirus in 1.2, Twenty-two percent of the cases had more than one pathogen identified and 18.8 were negative for all pathogens under study. The ill plebes had an average oral temperature of 38.6 degrees centigrade and missed an average of 2.9 days of training. 873 81 the 1077 plebes who completed a end-of-training questionnaire complained of having 1 or more respiratory symptoms 12 hours during their first year of training. Of these, 132 15 reported that the symptoms moderately or greatly affected their performance. Study data suggested that respiratory infections were frequent, had significant impact upon training, and were often due to bacterial pathogens.
- Medicine and Medical Research