Chicago Tribune

SOLDIERS FREE OF DISEASE

(BY A STAFF CORRESPONDENT)

Washington, D.C. July 14. — [Special.] — Surgeon General Gorgas announced today that the latest report from the expeditionary force in Frances shows a venereal disease rate of only 47.8 per 1,000 compared with the 91.23 in the regular army during peace times. There are less than two cases of the disease reported out of every 1,000 men each week.

In the training camps in the United States the rate is only 21 per 1,000. The rate would be even lower, Gen. Gorgas explains, if it were not for the fact that the army no accepts draft men already infected.

"Venereal disease is the greatest single cause of disability in the medical department." Gen Gorgas says. "The percentage of venereal disease was higher during this period, from Sept. 21, 1917 to May 21, 1918, than any single communicable disease, such as measles, pneumonia, and scarlet fever. More men were taken from active service for this cause than were caused by injuries.

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"Special care is taken to prevent the spread of the disease in the camps. Acute or active cases are segregated and every precaution is take to protect soldiers who expose themselves.

"Zones have been established surrounding every cantonment from which prostitutes are excluded, and wherever camps are situated near towns and cities the segregated districts have been wiped out.

"Within the camps the soldier is instructed. This is done through commanderís talks, special lectures, moving pictures, exhibits and pamphlets.

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"At least twice a month every soldier is inspected for venereal disease. If found infected he is put under treatment. He loses his pay while disabled and he is also tried by court martial and punished if he violates the order requiring the taking of treatment.

"At the present time twenty-seven commissioned officers of the sanitary corps of the army are engaged in the law enforcement division. More than eighty redlight districts have been abolished, including thirty-four outside of the prescribed five mile zones in camp communities and at distances varying from seven to 100 miles."

 

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