Military Diseases and Conditions of Interest

Last Updated: May 13, 2024
Scientist holding Petri dish

​Many diseases and conditions can impact the military population and detract from military readiness. The routine monitoring of medical data for diagnoses of diseases or conditions, known as disease surveillance, can help identify potential clusters or outbreaks among Service members and beneficiaries. This surveillance can help limit the spread of disease, determine if prevention tactics are working, and prevent future occurrences. 

See List of Diseases and Conditions ​for detailed clinical and reporting guidance for individual diseases​. 


​​What'​s New? 


2022 News Articles 

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Military health system data is routinely monitored for diseases that can impact the military population and detract from military readiness - this is referred to as disease surveillance. Disease surveillance can help identify potential clusters or outbreaks among service members and beneficiaries to help limit the spread of disease, determine if prevention tactics are working, and prevent future occurrences. 


What disea​​ses and conditions are of military interest?

Click here​ to see a full list of diseases and conditions. ​

These diseases and conditions are also grouped in categories below. 

NOTE: Though conditions are grouped based on a primary category some may also be associated with more than one category/means of transmission.

  1. ​Animal-Source and Zoonotic Conditions
  2. Child, Infant, and Maternal Conditions
  3. Food, Waterborne, or other Environmental Source Caused Conditions
  4. Insects and Parasites: Vector-Borne Diseases
  5. Respiratory Transmitted Diseases
  6. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
  7. Unknown/Multiple Transmission
  8. Weather-Related Injuries

 

What is an outbreak? 

An outbreak is definedExternal Link as more cases of a disease than expected in a specific location over a specific time period. This can be a few cases or hundreds depending on the disease, time and location and population.


How does the military monitor these disease and conditions?

Surveillance data is primarily collected from the Disease Reporting Surveillance internet system, or DRSi, which military medical facilities must use to document all cases that meet military Reportable Medical Event, or RME, criteria. Because the data is dependent on what is reported by military medical facilities to DRSi, military facilities should report all RMEs in an accurate, complete, and timely manner

 

What are the military RMEs? 

The military's medical Reportable Medical Events (RMEs) are specific medical conditions that must be reported to the military's DRSi system for health surveillance purposes. Military's RMEs include many of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Notifiable Diseases,"External Link as well as conditions for which there are military-unique concerns (such as heat- and cold weather-related injuries). 

Standardized guidance for defining RME cases is published by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division (AFHSD) to ensure consistent reporting and help local level contact-tracing efforts. Specific reporting guidance is in two documents: 

This RME Poster (2023) is a quick reference for posting in military medical facilities to help staff remember what conditions need to be reported in DRSi. Compared to the previous (2020) RME list, there are now 71 RMEs with the addition of Babesiosis, COVID-19 Associated Hospitalization or Death, and Lead Poisoning (Pediatric)* events​.



What military disease surveillance reports are available?

While data for diseases such as COVID and sexually transmitted infections are not publicly accessible, military disease surveillance reports are publicly available for: