The two great surprises of the last year in the Army camps have been, first, the rarity of gastrointestinal infections, and, secondly, the frequency of respiratory infections, particularly of the streptococcus group.
In former wars, infections of the alimentary tract, such as typhoid and dysentery, were responsible for the great epidemics. In our training camps of today, typhoid and paratyphoid are curiosities and dysentery is an exceptional occurrence. The disappearance of this formidable group of diseases can be attributed in part to the general use of typhoid inoculation and in large measure to the safeguarding of the drinking water from contamination.
During the Spanish-American War the danger arising from polluted water was well known, but careful and comprehensive methods of protection were not carried out. Today an army camp digs its own wells, builds reservoirs, subjects the water to frequent bacteriologic examinations, and in other ways rigidly and scientifically applies
CAPPS JA. MEASURES FOR THE PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS IN MILITARY CAMPS. JAMA. 1918;71(6):448-451. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.26020320008010a