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The health of recruits during bootcamp training, as well as advanced or specialized training, is essential to the development of a healthy and mission-ready force. An ill or injured trainee can compromise the flow of manpower into combat and support units; and can also lead to additional costs. The EpiData Center conducts surveillance of these special sub-populations in the Department of Navy to inform leadership, medical staff, and trainers of disease burden, and to enable the identification of key functions in the training that impact injuries or infections.

Projects Completed or In Progress

Below is a sample list of the complete and current projects at the EpiData Center that are related to recruits during bootcamp; or trainees during advanced training. Most of the work focuses on the DON. If you would like more information on any of the topics below, or are interested in a new project, please email us using the Contact Us email on the left.

Immunity Status of Navy and Marine Corps Recruits Before Vaccination (.pdf)

  • Immunity Status of Navy and Marine Corps Recruits Before Vaccination Recruits are vaccinated for multiple diseases upon entry into the Navy or Marine Corps. EDC evaluated the ability to monitor which recruits are tested and subsequent test results. Results include evaluation of applicable databases, laboratory tests performed, average immunity over the testing period, and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code utilization in encounter records.

Comparison of Recruit Roster Methods (.pdf)

  • Comparison of Recruit Roster Methods Recruit status is typically indicated by the patient category (PATCAT) code within an electronic medical record, where the codes "N13" and "M13" indicate Navy recruits and Marine Corps recruits, respectively. However, establishing a roster of all recruits at any given time that includes those without medical records for the time of interest is less straightforward with current data sources. The analysis compares the use of Marine Corps service member start of service date in personnel (DMDC) record as a proxy to initiation of basic training start date + UIC/RUC, to a method using the assigned RUC.

Group A Beta Hemolytic Streptococcus in Department of Navy

  • EDC evaluated the recruits Group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus (GABHS) cases and prophylaxis use from three recruit centers: Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego, MCRD Parris Island, and Navy Training Center (NTC) Great Lakes. Analysis provided additional understanding of the morbidity associated with positive GABHS results. The analysis was last updated based on the 2004-2009 period to identify any changes in rates or coding practices for GABHS-like illnesses. Pending update in process.

Pneumonia in the US Marine Crops School of Infantry Training Environment

  • Pneumonia is an inflammation and consolidation of the lungs. It has infectious (e.g., bacterial, viral) and non-infectious (e.g., autoimmune, chemically induced) causes. Symptoms include coughing, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, chills, and chest pain. The majority of infectious pneumonias are bacterial and most frequently caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. Pneumonia was historically an issue of concern for US military personnel, particularly those in the training or shipboard environments.

    A study of hospital records from 1970-1979 showed that among Navy and Marine Corps personnel under 25 years of age, recruits were 29 times more likely to be hospitalized for pneumonia than non-recruits of the same age. Winter pneumonia outbreaks among Marine Corps School of Infantry (SOI) trainees highlighted the lack of documentation on recent outbreaks as well as the need to describe current knowledge on infectious pneumonia burden. This report describes current knowledge, in the context of SOI training, regarding pneumonia burden to inform further program and/or policy changes.

Reportable Infectious Disease in Recruits, 2005-2010

  • Health status of military service members entering Navy and Marine Corps recruit training, also known as boot camp, is of particular interest. While research has been conducted on particular groups of diseases among recruits, description of the overall rates of infectious diseases of recruits over time is limited. This analysis considered infectious diseases, as outlined by the Tri-Service Reportable Event Guidelines and Case Definitions, over a six-year period and described disease trends. Disease categories included: gastrointestinal illnesses, respiratory illnesses, illnesses with zoonotic transmission, sexually transmitted infections, vaccine preventable disease, and others.

Assessment of Pneumonia Encounters in Marine Corps Recruits, 2007-2012

  • Pneumonia continues to be a significant source of morbidity in United States military populations. Among active duty Navy and Marine Corps personnel, respiratory disease causes 25-30% of all hospitalizations and pneumonia is the leading cause of lost work days. Evidence points to an even larger risk for recruits in the military; the hospital admission rate for pneumonia in recruits has been as high as 30 times the non-recruit population. This analysis aims to describe the pneumonia burden at the MCRDs in San Diego and Parris Island, using existing inpatient and outpatient medical clinical encounter data. Causative agents and trends in rates of pneumonia medical encounters during recent changes in vaccination policies bear particular interest.


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