New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy
Before leaving Egypt the troops had all been given typhus inoculations and wide publicity was given to the precautions to be taken against the vector of the disease—the louse. The addition to the Division of a mobile laundry and bath unit, as well as the shower and disinfestation equipment of 4 Field Hygiene Section, enabled every man to obtain a hot shower and complete change of underclothing more frequently—the administrative aim was at least once a week.
This mobile laundry and bath unit was available in the divisional area and was set up at Atessa. It provided excellent facilities for washing blankets and towels as well as hot showers for the units operating in that area.
The Field Hygiene Section made full use of its shower unit during the campaign. The equipment was badly worn but over 450 men a day were dealt with. At Castelfrentano 10,500 were given showers and the unit was kept as near the forward troops as possible. Units also erected their own home-made patterns of shower. This undoubtedly contributed to the absence of typhus infection.