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August 10, 1918


Author Affiliations

Major, M. R. C., U. S. Army; Major, M. R. C., U. S. Army WASHINGTON, D. C.

JAMA. 1918;71(6):456-463. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.26020320016010d

Venereal diseases, according to Surgeon-General Gorgas,1 are the greatest cause of disability in the Army and present the most serious communicable disease problem of the war. In meeting this large problem, the Army is aiming to get maximum results by applying basic epidemiologic principles through sound administrative measures and controlling its methods by the statistical study of results.

EPIDEMIOLOGY  Compared with most other communicable diseases, the venereal diseases are well understood. Their causative organisms have been discovered, and the methods of transfer of infection are thoroughly known.The three principal venereal diseases, syphilis, gonorrhea (including all gonococcus infections) and chancroid, are spread essentially by contact. The commonest manner of transfer is through sexual intercourse, and all the other ways of spread may well be regarded as incidental or secondary to transfer through promiscuous sex relations. As long as venereal diseases are prevalent there will be many infections through other