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Ways Army Doctors Prevent Troop Illnesses

Vaccines, such as the smallpox vaccine being given here, are one very important form of preventive medicine for soldiers heading out of the country.

Stephen Morton/Getty Images

On the battlefield, something as simple as the flu can spell disaster for soldiers, and they often face much more exotic pathogens. Most deployment-related illnesses arise while soldiers are still in the field, so one of a U.S. Army doctor's main goals is preventing troop illness.

Because soldiers often travel to remote areas, their immune systems aren't always equipped to handle the diseases they encounter. Illness and infectious disease can hinder or cancel military operations and mean sickness or even death for troops. In fact, illness accounts for more medical problems among soldiers than combat-related injuries [source: Murray and Horvath].

Army doctors are constantly working to improve prevention techniques, and they rely on many different approaches, ranging from drugs and vaccines to education and awareness. Here, we'll look at some of those techniques and learn more about how Army doctors work to keep troops healthy.

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