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Silver Spring, MD, United States

From May 19 to May 21, 2010, the Armed Forced Health Surveillance Center and the Uniformed Services University cosponsored an educational symposium and workshop on the assessment of potentially hazardous environmental exposures among military populations. Symposium participants reviewed and analyzed historical exposure events, from herbicides in Vietnam to the 1991 Gulf War oil well fires and World Trade Center dust exposure in 2001, using the framework that the Institute of Medicine developed for addressing environmental exposures and their possible impact on military populations. Historical exposures were critically assessed in terms of methods used to identify and define harmful exposures, to prevent or limit exposures, and to define the health risks to exposed people. The lessons learned were then used during small group discussions to deliberate on the current scientific approach for dealing with hazardous environmental exposures. This article summarizes the major conclusions and proceedings of the symposium and provides suggestions to improve the U.S. military's current strategy on identifying and assessing potentially hazardous environmental exposures. Source

Shanks G.D.,Australian Army Malaria Institute | Brundage J.F.,Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center
American Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2014

Until the mid-20th century, mortality rates were often very high during measles epidemics, particularly among previously isolated populations (e.g., islanders), refugees/internees who were forcibly crowded into camps, and military recruits. Searching for insights regarding measles mortality rates, we reviewed historical records of measles epidemics on the Polynesian island of Rotuma (in 1911), in Boer War concentration camps (in 1900-1902), and in US Army mobilization camps during the First World War (in 1917-1918). Records classified measles deaths by date and clinical causes; by demographic characteristics, family relationships (for Rotuma islanders and Boer camp internees), and prior residences; and by camp (for Boer internees and US Army recruits). During the Rotuman and Boer War epidemics, measles-related mortality rates were high (up to 40%); however, mortality rates differed more than 10-fold across camps/districts, even though conditions were similar. During measles epidemics, most deaths among camp internees/military recruits were due to secondary bacterial pneumonias; in contrast, most deaths among Rotuman islanders were due to gastrointestinal complications. The clinical expressions, courses, and outcomes of measles during first-contact epidemics differ from those during camp epidemics. The degree of isolation from respiratory pathogens other than measles may significantly determine measles-related mortality risk. © The Author 2013. Source

Defraites R.F.,Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center
BMC Public Health | Year: 2011

Since its establishment in February 2008, the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC) has embarked on a number of initiatives and projects in collaboration with a variety of agencies in the Department of Defense (DoD), other organizations within the federal government, and non-governmental partners. In 2009, the outbreak of pandemic H1N1 influenza attracted the major focus of the center, although notable advances were accomplished in other areas of interest, such as deployment health, mental health and traumatic brain injury surveillance. © 2011 DeFraites; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection among U.S. military members. The most frequent clinical manifestation of HPV is genital warts (GW). This investigation examined the annual incidence of diagnoses of GW among U.S. service members before and after the availability of the quadrivalent HPV (HPV4) vaccine in 2006. Incidence rates of GW diagnoses markedly declined among female service members in the HPV4 vaccine-eligible age range from 2007 (following introduction of the HPV4 vaccine) through 2010. In contrast, among women 25 years and older and men of all age groups, annual rates of GW diagnoses remained relatively low and stable from 2000 through 2010. The higher rates of diagnoses of GWs among female than male service members reflect the effects of routine periodic gynecologic screening. Slight increases in the incidence of GW diagnoses among men between 2010 and 2012 may in part reflect the repeal of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy. Source

Lindler L.E.,Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center
Military Medicine | Year: 2015

Military service members come in contact with a wide range of hazardous substances especially during deployment. The identification of service member’s with potential exposures to infectious diseases and environmental toxic substances has been a problem for the U.S. military almost since the formation of the services and continues to be an issue today. In June and July of 2013, the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center sponsored two meetings to address the need by the Department of Defense to perform retrospective exposure analysis that would support military force health protection efforts. The first meeting included medical professionals who were familiar with health problems that followed potential environmental or infectious disease exposures but that the military health system was unprepared to address. The second group was composed of technical experts who were asked to suggest potential material and nonmaterial solutions to address the needs of the military public health community. This supplement to Military Medicine includes the outcome of these two meetings, descriptions of some of the Department of Defense biorepositories including the large serum repository housed at Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center and discussion of additional topics related to the establishment and use of biorepositories that would support public health practice in the 21st century. © 2015 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S. All rights reserved. Source

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