Epidemiology and Control of Phlebotomus Fever: The Use of D.D.T. in the Control of the Outbreak Among Naval Personnel in Malta During 1945

Semple, Andrew B (1947) Epidemiology and Control of Phlebotomus Fever: The Use of D.D.T. in the Control of the Outbreak Among Naval Personnel in Malta During 1945. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Phlebotomus fever is a disease of Military importance; it can incapacitate large numbers of troops for 7 to 14 days, often when their services may be needed most. The existing knowledge of the disease has been reviewed. Particular attention has been paid to the life history and bionomics of the vector, Phlebotomus papatasii, as this is the foundation on which the scheme of prophylaxis has been built. Russian research, which strongly supports the theory of hereditary transmission of the virus from the adult fly to the egg, has been discussed. An account has been given of extensive work done in India and Russia on the cultivation of the virus and the preparation of a protective vaccine against phlebotomus fever. Prior to the advent of DPT, individual protection by means of a vaccine offered the most hopeful means of control of this fever. Clinical and epidemiological experiences in the 1945 outbreak in Malta have been reported, together with observations on the clinical course of the disease in a series of 153 cases treated in the R.N. Hospital. In a series of 500 cases in 1945, second attacks occurred in 7.8%, and third attacks in 0.8% of cases. Persons who had suffered from the disease in previous years were also attacked. Tests with dimethyl phthalate gave favourable impressions of the use of this substance as a repellent to Phlebotomus papatasii and as a useful anti-sandfly measure for persons like sentries whose duties caused them to have to stand about out-of-doors during the hours of darkness. The recommended preventive measures against phlebotomus fever have been discussed. Control of this disease, especially under active service conditions, has always been notoriously difficult. The recognised preventive measures in so far as they could be employed failed to check the epidemic in 1944. DDT was used as the main preventive measure in 1945 with success. The method employed was wall spraying with a solution of 5%. DDT in kerosene in a dosage of 56 mgm DDT per square foot, at six weekly intervals. This gave almost complete control of sandflies indoors, and, for the latter part of the epidemic, other means of protection, such as the use of sandfly nets, were not insisted upon. After spraying was started there was a reduction in the number of cases and the second peak of the disease was considerably modified. The chief advantages of the DDT spray were its cheapness, economy of labour and its suitability for dealing with temporary quarters.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Epidemiology, Military history
Date of Award: 1947
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1947-79639
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2020 09:09
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2020 09:09
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/79639

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