151016-N-PE342-007 CAMP LEMONNIER (Oct. 16, 2015) Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Tito Alvarado, a preventative medicine technician at Camp Lemonnier, prepares to administer the flu vaccine to Cmdr. Chuck Williams, the executive officer at Camp Lemonnier. The Camp started providing the influenza vaccine this month to Camp personnel. Influenza, also called flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can be mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. During the month of October, personnel at Camp Lemonnier will receive this year's vaccine. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Erik Wells/Released)
CAIRO, Egypt – Researchers from the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No.3 – Cairo (NAMRU-3), working with the a team from Camp Lemonnier, are set to begin a collaborative research study focusing on the prevalence of a variety of potential infectious diseases at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa, February 2018.
The data collected from the study will help provide AFRICOM and Camp Lemonnier leadership the necessary tools to better understand specific disease threats by location and season, which allows for the opportunity for leadership to make informed decisions regarding risk mitigation.
Over the next few years, the researchers plan to track data gathered through serological analysis of samples to test for seven vector-borne and respiratory pathogens: Zika Virus, Dengue Virus, Chikungunya Virus, West Nile Virus, Malaria, Rift Valley Fever and MERS-CoV.
“There is little data on the pathogens deployed service members face in this region. One of our goals for this study is to identify respiratory pathogens personnel are exposed to and then provide research solutions to mitigate those threats,” said Lt. Jose Garcia-Rivera, Department Head, Viral and Zoonotic Disease Research and Principle investigator on the Camp Lemonnier study.
The samples will come from troops stationed at Camp Lemonnier throughout the duration of their deployment as well as personnel forward deployed throughout the AFRICOM area of responsibility.
“Our surveillance activities provide critical information to medical personnel at Camp Lemonnier and the associated drug resistance profiles of pathogens causing disease among deployed service members,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Gregory, Department Head, Bacterial and Parasitic Disease Research Department.
The study is funded by the Global Emerging Infections Surveillance section of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch of the Defense Health Agency and provides researchers the opportunity to study the clinical features and risk factors of febrile and respiratory etiologies.
“I feel we will gain valuable insight from this study into what type of viral pathogens forward deployed service members are exposed to in this region,” said Garcia-Rivera.
The mission of NAMRU-3 is to study, monitor, and detect emerging and re-emerging disease threats of military and public health importance, and to develop mitigation strategies against these threats in partnership with host nations and international and U.S. agencies in CENTCOM and AFRICOM areas of responsibility.