The incidence of dengue infections has been increasing in the Caribbean, and cases have been identified among successive deployments of multinational peacekeepers to Haiti (1994-1997). In the absence of an effective vaccine or chemoprophylaxis to prevent dengue fever, vector-control operations and use of personal protection measures to prevent arthropod bites are the most effective means of limiting disease transmission. During our 5-month deployment as part of the United Nations Mission in Haiti, 79 cases of recent dengue fever were identified among 249 patients (32%) presenting with febrile illness to the 86th Combat Support Hospital. Further investigation revealed low unit readiness to perform standard vector-control activities and poor individual adherence to measures to prevent arthropod bites. Command enforcement of existing field preventive medicine doctrine is essential to prevent casualties caused by dengue, other arthropod-borne infections, and nuisance arthropod bites during military deployments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health