During its deployment to Kuwait from 2011-2012, the 983rd Medical Detachment (Preventive Medicine) was augmented with a 4-person laboratory section which provided polymerase chain reaction capabilities not normally associated with an Army Level III preventive medicine detachment. Although common in many civilian laboratories, this was the first time this equipment was used by a deployed Level III Army preventive medicine detachment to identify an outbreak in this theater. It allowed rapid identification and description of a gastrointestinal disease outbreak caused by norovirus in Kuwait. The technology contributed to a decreased time required to identification of the causative agent (hours vs days) and thus the implementation of appropriate preventive measures. Based on this event, the authors suggest the addition of a modified laboratory section to the modified table of organization equipment for deployable preventive medicine detachments.
Public Health and Sports Medicine
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deployed public health, Kuwait, norovirus
Thompson, Kip R., Eric C. Mossel, Belle Federman, and David M. Claborn. "Does reducing time to identification of infectious agents reduce incidence rates of norovirus in a population deployed to Southwest Asia?." United States Army Medical Department Journal (2016).
United States Army Medical Department Journal