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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Health of Troops

Health of Troops

The incidence of diarrhoea and dysentery steadily dropped from its high level of July and early August, though it was still considerable. Its fall coincided with the reduction of flies consequent upon the strenuous measures instituted; other factors to be considered also were that the height of the late summer fly season was passing as the weather grew cooler, and that a certain amount of acquired immunity existed among the troops.

During August supplies of castor oil and sodium sulphate were short, but they improved again later. Sulphaguanadine became available in the Middle East Force in restricted quantities at this time and a supply was sent to the Division at the end of August for trial in the forward areas. It was found to be most effective.

After two and a half months of continuous fighting the troops were becoming more susceptible to minor illnesses, including septic skin conditions and sore throats. Infective hepatitis made its appearance and rose to epidemic proportions by October. There had been a number of cases of malaria, but most infections seemed to page 368 have been contracted amongst troops detached from the Division and temporarily stationed in the Nile Delta or in Maadi Camp.