Malaria has threatened the U.S. Military since the Revolutionary War. In the 20th century, the U.S. Armed Forces lost more casualties to malaria than bullets. This Memorial Day, Nothing But Nets, remembers all of our service men and women who have been killed by malaria and recognizes the Military’s contributions to malaria research and prevention efforts.
Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about malaria and its impact on our service men and women:
- The United States Department of Defense is a leader in malaria vaccine research, with a budget of $8 million per year.
- The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research has an over 25 year history developing and field-testing malaria drugs, including many drugs used today.
- Navy Virtual Hospital publishes a pocket guide given to all soldiers to explain malaria prevention and control while deployed.
- During the Civil War two soldiers died of disease, including malaria, for every one soldier killed in battle.
- During the Vietnam War over 40,000 cases of malaria were reported in Army troops between 1965 and 1970. Malaria reduced the strength of some combat units by half.