Outbreak of Infectious Disease Among Military Conscripts in Thailand: A Summary of the Problem in Tropical Settings


avatar Beuy Joob 1 , * , avatar Viroj Wiwanitkit 2

Sanitation 1 Medical Academic Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Hainan Medical Unviersity, Haikou, China

how to cite: Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Outbreak of Infectious Disease Among Military Conscripts in Thailand: A Summary of the Problem in Tropical Settings. J Arch Mil Med. 2016;4(1):e36619. https://doi.org/10.5812/jamm.36619.

Dear Editor,

The problem of infectious disease outbreak is very important to public health. A crowded population is an important underlying risk contributing to an outbreak. In developing countries, a military conscript camp is usually crowded, and the problem of infectious disease outbreak is possible. Here, the authors would like to summarize and discuss the situation regarding outbreaks of infectious disease among military conscripts in Thailand, a tropical country in southeast Asia.

The authors used the standard database search (PubMed and ThaiIndexMedicus) for seeking publications regarding the outbreak of infectious disease military conscripts in Thailand. According to the search, there are at least 3 reports on this topic (1-3). All outbreaks occurred at rural military conscript camps. Two outbreaks occurred in an army camp, and 1 outbreak occurred at a navy camp. Two outbreaks are due to the 2009 H1N1 influenza, and 1 outbreak is due to hepatitis A. All outbreaks could be successfully controlled by the local military hospital.

Indeed, outbreaks among military conscripts can be seen elsewhere. Most of the problematic outbreaks are usually due to respiratory viral infections, especially influenza. Of interest in the present report, influenza is also the cause of outbreaks in most situations. This is similar to previous reports from non-tropical countries (4). It can be seen that there is no difference regarding types of infections and there is no specific tropical infection outbreak in our setting, despite its being one of the well-known tropical countries.


  • 1.

    Vatthanasak A, Pittayawonganon C, Pongkankham W, Panyarattanasin R, Wanna W, Puthavathana P. Infection rate, duration of virus shedding and viral load in an outbreak of novel influenza A (H1N1) 2009 infections among military conscripts in a training center, Thailand, June 2009 [in Thai]. Weekly Epidemiology Surveillance Report, Thailand. 2010 [cited 2011 Nov 1]. Wkly Epidemiol Surveill Rep, Thailand. 2010;41(14):209-13.

  • 2.

    Cluster of novel influenza A (H1N1) infection in Recruitment Training Unit, Northern Military Camp, November 2009. W Epidemiol Surveil Rep. 2009;40:776-8.

  • 3.

    Theamboonlers A, Rianthavorn P, Jiamsiri S, Kumthong S, Silaporn P, Thongmee C, et al. Molecular characterization of Hepatitis A virus causing an outbreak among Thai navy recruits. Trop Biomed. 2009;26(3):352-9. [PubMed ID: 20237451].

  • 4.

    Pyhala R, Visakorpi R, Ikonen N, Kleemola M. Influence of antigenic drift on the intensity of influenza outbreaks: upper respiratory tract infections of military conscripts in Finland. J Med Virol. 2004;72(2):275-80. [PubMed ID: 14695670]. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmv.10552.