July 25, 1966


JAMA. 1966;197(4):290. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110040100021

Early in 1941, in an effort to cope with problems created by the rapid expansion of the Armed Forces just before Pearl Harbor, the Secretary of War authorized the formation of what is now called the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB). In May of this year, an anniversary celebration in Washington commemorated the 25th year of service to the military by this group of civilian consultants in preventive medicine.

The research work of the Board is performed by ten Commissions, each dedicated to a particular epidemiological problem. One example of a problem which received much attention during World War II is infectious hepatitis. A Board-sponsored research team was able to produce hepatitis in volunteers who ingested fecal specimens obtained from military patients with hepatitis. Another team demonstrated, in 1944-1945, the prophylactic effect of gamma globulin in controlling an epidemic of infectious hepatitis.1 This work is representative of research performed