U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History
Skip Navigation, go to content

HISTORY OF THE OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY

AMEDD BIOGRAPHIES

AMEDD CORPS HISTORY

BOOKS AND DOCUMENTS

HISTORICAL ART WORK & IMAGES

MEDICAL MEMOIRS

AMEDD MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS External Link, Opens in New Window

ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORIES

THE SURGEONS GENERAL

ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE SURGEON GENERAL

AMEDD UNIT PATCHES AND LINEAGE

THE AMEDD HISTORIAN NEWSLETTER

Appendix A

APPENDIX A

Headquarters

The Replacement and Training Command, MTOUSA

AG 710 (RCSUR)

9 APRIL 1945
SUBJECT : Scabies

TO: Commanders Concerned

1. It has been noted that there is an increased prevalence of scabies in organizations of this command. Every effort will be made to reduce the incidence to a minimum.

2. The following is given for your information and guidance:

a. Scabies is a contagious itchy disease of the skin caused by a microscopic parasite. It burrows in the skin, lays eggs in the burrows, which gives rise to new generation of "mites." Reinfection from one's own person or bedding, tends to make the disease chronic.

b. A survey made in this command shows that scabies is being contracted in the following ways:

(1) Sexual intercourse.
(2) Using infested civilian beds or blankets.
(3) The temporary use of an unsterilized, infested sleeping bag for an overnight problem.
(4) Use of a common bunk by guards during off duty hours.
(5) Casual contact with an infected, untreated tent mate.

3. The following corrective measures will be provided:

a. Adequate bathing schedules.
b. Adequate washing or sterilization of clothing and blankets of infected individuals. (Disinfectors, trailer type, #9924650, are reported in stock and may be procured through usual supply channels by units with a mean strength above 2,000).
c. All cases will be treated in conformity with instructions listed in Inclosure Number 1.
d. Each patient will be supplied with the mimeographed information listed in Inclosure Number 2. (To be reproduced locally.)

TREATMENT

1. On the day of diagnosis the soldier may return to duty after being given the mimeographed instructions attached as Inclosure Number 2.

2. He should report for the first application of 10 to 20 percent sulphur ointment between 1630 hours to 1800 hours. This should be applied thoroughly and rubbed in over a period of fifteen (15) minutes from neck to feet with special attention to itchy areas. One soldier may anoint another's back. The entire treatment will be supervised. The application of ointment will be made in the battalion dispensary.

3. He should repeat the above application before bed time and sleep in clean bedding. In this way, the soldier is completely anointed for a period of at least twelve (12) hours, the objective being to kill all live mites.

4. The ointment should be made available in a large container. Tubes of sulphur ointment are inadequate and wasteful for this purpose, although they may be used as an adjunct to therapy when cure is almost complete or when soldier is alerted.


464
5. The following morning the soldier should shower (to cut down incidence of sulphur dermatitis), change to clean clothing and report to duty.

6. The entire process described in paragraphs 2 and 3 should be repeated in one (1) week to kill off second generation mites (Eggs hatch in four (4) to five (5) days). The soldier should be reexamined at the end of two (2) weeks.

7. If the case becomes chronic, inquiry should be directed towards the possible source of reinfection, which most likely will be a prostitute, civilian bed, the soldier's own bedding, or clothing.

8. All cases will be reported as part of the monthly sanitary report.

INFORMATION FOR THE SOLDIER

You have scabies, caused by a tiny louse-like "mite," so small that it can be seen only with a microscope. It gets in the skin and burrows when you are warm-hence the itching.

The eggs develop in four (4) or five (5) days so you will need at least one more treatment in a week. Even the dead mite may continue to itch so itching is not necessarily a sign that you are not getting cured. The appearance of new itchy bumps on the wrists, arms, legs, or penis after you have had two treatments may mean that you have still got them. Check up with the dispensary. Are you going back to the same girl? Did you wash or sterilize your clothes, bedding or sleeping bag? Don't sit on a tent mate's bed until you are cured.

Before reporting for treatment, lather yourself all over with soap; scrubbing the skin, especially itchy parts, thoroughly for twenty (20) minutes and follow with a shower. In this way you clean the skin of parasites and get the burrow soft and open.

GIVE THIS TO YOUR COMPANY COMMANDER.

APO


(Date)

SUBJECT: Scabies.

TO: Commanding Officer,  Replacement Company

1. - is scheduled for treatment today at hours and again at hours. He will shower before his first treatment.

2. His underclothing and OD's should be washed tomorrow; his blankets exchanged for washing or sterilization today.
 

3. Tomorrow morning he must shower by soaping and scrubbing thoroughly and then change to fresh, clean clothing. He will not sleep in his old blankets until sterilized.

4. Showers are to be taken daily for three (3) days.

5. He is to report to this dispensary for a check-up one (1) week from today, or if alerted, before leaving camp.

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS