Travelers’ diarrhea (TD) has historically been common among deployed military personnel and remains a leading infectious disease threat to this population. The risk factors, work performance, and illness associated with TD among British active duty service members exercising at British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) were assessed. Members of the British Army who were finishing a 6-week combined arms training exercise in Nanyuki, Kenya, completed routine public health surveillance questionnaires. Survey data included information on demographics, rank, risk factors, illness characteristics, and impact on performance. Among 1,227 survey respondents, 21.9% (n=269) reported having diarrhea, with an estimated 824 days of total missed work and 1,215 days of work underperformance. The majority of cases (54.6%) had multiple diarrheal episodes. One quarter (24.9%) of the respondents with TD sought medical care and 19.7% were bedded down because of their illness. There were no statistically significant differences between the TD and no TD groups on the demographic characteristics examined. The strongest risk factor for diarrhea was having a colleague with diarrhea (adjusted odds ratio=51.78; 95% confidence interval: 29.44–91.06). TD had a notable impact on duty status and operational capability. Efforts are needed to improve BATUK’s participant education on the importance of diarrheal disease prevention and management.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Medical Surveillance Monthly Report|
|State||Published - Aug 2020|