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    ABSTRACT: Military personnel in operations have always paid a high toll to infections. In the 21st century some of these diseases still cause outbreaks with significant morbidity and impact on deployments. The new configuration of the French Armed Forces requires the permanent preparedness of deployable units. During deployments, soldiers are at least exposed to the infectious diseases that are observed in travellers, but with a potentially severe impact for the combatting strengths and a risk for cancelation or failure of the operational durability. The most common disabling infections during military deployments are faeco-oral transmitted diseases including diarrhoea. Preventing infectious diseases during deployments is of great concern and the French medical service has established a strategy based on different components; risk assessment and preparation, immunizations, protective measures and chemoprophylaxis, health education, health surveillance, outbreak investigations and medical tracking. In this review, the authors present the context of deployment of the French Armed Forces, the main health risks they are exposed to and develop the key points of the force health protection strategy, focused on infections related to military deployments.
    Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease 01/2014; · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Morbidity and mortality associated with an infectious disease outbreak can be mitigated by early detection followed by swift action. Modelling, tracking and predicting disease outbreaks are therefore priorities for public health agencies. New media data sources, including social media platforms, the internet and mobile phone applications, now aid in detecting outbreaks earlier than would have been possible using traditional surveillance methods alone. I review the literature on uses of new media methods for detecting disease outbreaks in humans and animals, with a focus on veterinary diseases and the difference in challenges compared with human disease surveillance. I then discuss the complex issue of evaluation of new media-based surveillance systems. The proliferation of new media methods for disease surveillance has not included published evaluation of each method or of the challenges faced, which limits the potential for a particular method to be applied outside its original context.
    CAB Reviews Perspectives in Agriculture Veterinary Science Nutrition and Natural Resources 02/2013; 8(31):1-13.
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    ABSTRACT: The main objective of this study was to evaluate the contribution of a newly implemented daily surveillance system to the management of the 2009 A(H1N1) influenza pandemic by the military decision-makers at different levels in the French Department of Defence. The study sample included all medical advisors in the Ministry of Defence and the French Armed Forces Staff and also the members of the specific committee dedicated to flu pandemic control. The variables studied were mental representation of epidemiology, relevance, usefulness, and real-time use of surveillance data using quantitative questionnaires and qualitative face-to-face semistructured interviews. Among the risk managers of the flu pandemic in the Armed Forces, 84% responded. The data generated by epidemiological surveillance were considered relevant and useful, and were reported as effectively used. On the basis of the information produced, concrete actions were planned and implemented in the French Armed Forces. In a pandemic situation involving low mortality, the daily monitoring of the disease did not target public health issues, but it was mainly used to assess the availability of the Armed Forces in real time. For the military staff, epidemiological surveillance represents an essential information tool for the conduct of operations.
    Military medicine. 02/2014; 179(2):183-9.