Venereal disease in U.S. Army declines (6-26-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (June 26, 1941)


Washington, June 26 (UP) –
Surgeon General Thomas Parran of the Public Health Service reported today that 63,000 of the first million selectees and volunteers for the Army had venereal disease.

Nationwide control of venereal disease has decreased materially the prevalence of those diseases since World War I, Mr. Parran said.

Of the first million men checked for the Army, about 48,000 were found to have syphilis and 15,000 had gonorrhea.

About 15 cases of recently contracted syphilis were found among each 10,000 men, compared to about 105 such cases out of every 10,000 in 1917-18.

During World War I, the gonorrhea rate was about 430 cases out of 10,000, compared with about 150 per 10,000 now.

An official said the Public Health Service is concerned over the failure of many communities, where the population has been greatly increased by the Army and industrial expansions, to take proper steps to suppress prostitution and develop recreational programs.