War Surgery and Medicine
Studies by Van Rooyen and Kirk (1945) conclude that the virus is distributed widely throughout the Mediterranean and that the local adult population is immune to attack due to resistance acquired in childhood, either from the disease or by consuming food contaminated by the virus. Thus, in troops occupying an infected locality, the mechanism of their response to infection resembles that of the local children. By patronising cafés and eating-houses, every man would soon ingest infected material. Some acquired the disease and some eventually an immunity. However, in the case of the epidemic at Alamein, the doses of virus were probably so intense that many with moderate degrees of resistance would be infected. This may account for the mildness of many cases.