Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC --
Special Amphibious Reconnaissance
Corpsman and medical practitioners with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special
Operations Command, attended a mobile Operational Clinical Infectious Diseases
course held at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sept. 9-11.
A mobile training team with Walter Reed
Army Institute of Research held the course to provide medical-practitioner
service members, predominantly those deploying in support of U.S. Africa
Command, with knowledge pertaining to a variety of tropical diseases and other
potential life-threatening ailments common in the region.
Army Maj. Kristopher Paolino, an infectious
disease physician with WRAIR and deputy director of the mobile course, said the
institute developed the course to educate personnel about potential regional
health threats and dispel common misconceptions about specific diseases.
“The course is constantly adapting, with
an attempt to focus on the medic and physician assistants at the front lines
and in the most austere environments, to help them identify infectious threats,
and provide preventative or therapeutic options to maintain the fighting
force,” said Paolino.
Service members attending the course
here learned about rapid diagnostics tests available to them and worked with
malaria slides and microscopes. Course material emphasized tropical disease
prevention, initial symptoms identification, and containment.
Paolino said while the course is very
educational for service members, it is not meant to develop tropical medicine
“We try to take the ten-thousand-foot
view and show the students that there are some simple take-home points, such as
a fever in a malaria-endemic area is malaria until proven otherwise, given its
potential to kill,” he said.
Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsmen
and MARSOC medical practitioners took advantage of the course to better prepare
for future deployments.
“The training allowed the providers
and corpsmen better oversight of infectious disease in their areas of
operation, as well as the ability to prevent, diagnose and treat these diseases
they may otherwise not be familiar with,” explained a Preventative Medicine
Technician with 3rd Marine Raider Battalion, MARSOC.
Though this particular course
iteration was geared toward health concerns in Africa, the course itself is not
Africa-specific. The material is relevant to anybody deploying to a tropical
is beneficial to the other providers that came from 2nd Marine Raider Battalion,
2nd Marine Division and Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune since there is so much
overlap in the infectious diseases found in AFRICOM, (U.S. Pacific Command) and
(U.S. Central Command),” said the PMT.
Paolino said WRAIR also holds resident
five-day courses, and has added up to 20 mobile courses each calendar year,
significantly increasing the number of students taught annually.
For more information concerning the
course service members should visit