New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy
Some general deterioration of the health of the troops was noted during this period, but this did not lead to any marked increase in the numbers evacuated sick. It was shown more in the lack of resistance to skin infections and mild general infections. The dominating factor was the marked epidemic of infective hepatitis which subsided during the winter.
Numbers of ‘Fever NYD' cases were evacuated from units. Many of these cases were diagnosed later as infective hepatitis, others as sandfly fever, very few as malaria.
Upper respiratory infections increased during the winter but pneumonia was never very prevalent or serious.
Diarrhoea and dysentery were much less common.
As much of the illness was minor, a considerable number of those evacuated from the divisional units were returned to their units from the field ambulances within a few days. During October 500 men, one-third of the sickness cases, were held at the MDS at Riccione and returned to their units. This number did not include cases of hepatitis as these were all evacuated to the base hospitals. The numbers per 1000 per day evacuated beyond the RAPs were 2·54 from July to September and 2·67 from October to December.