HEALTH HAZARDS IN VIETNAM
PERSONAL SECURITY RULES
DIRECTED TO VIETNAM COMBAT ARTISTS

US Army Combat Art Team IV

15 August-15 October, 1967, Vietnam
16 October-31 December 1967, Hawaii

Team IV members:
Sp/4 James Pollock from South Dakota
Sp/4 Daniel Lopez from California
Sp/4 Samuel Alexander from Mississippi
Sp/5 Burdell Moody from Arizona
Sgt. Ronald Wilson from Utah
Technical Supervisor Lt. Frank M. Thomas

James Pollock's home state was and still is South Dakota. At the time of his selection to US Army Combat Artist Team IV he was serving as a Sp/4 postal clerk with First Base Post Office, 8th US Army, and was stationed at Camp Ames near Taejon, South Korea. All artwork completed as a soldier artist are in the Military History War Art Collection in Washington D.C.

The following document was distributed to US Army Combat Artist Team IV member James Pollock in 1967, after being selected through army-wide competition. It was prepared by United States Army in the Republic of Vietnam (USARV) and distributed as an unsigned hand out. It gives an overview of some of the combat and non-combat hazards soldiers stationed in Vietnam encountered.
____________________

HEALTH HAZARDS IN VIETNAM

1. There are two categories of communicable diseases that are considered major problems in Vietnam. These are intestinal and insect-borne diseases. The ones which you should be most concerned with during your stay in the country are the intestinal diseases. Most common examples of these include diarrhea, dysentery, infectious hepatitis, typhoid and cholera. You have received immunizations against typhoid and cholera; therefore, these diseases can be considered of no relative consequence. Dysentery and common diarrhea are very prevalent in this country. In that these intestinal diseases are so closely associated with water and food, some personal measures that can be taken to avoid illness are listed below.

a. Water-In all areas of Vietnam, including Saigon, the civilian water is considered non-potable, therefore not fit for drinking. This includes water used in restaurants as well as tap water in hotels. A few U. S. installations treat water at its source thus providing drinkable tap water. (Saigon is not one of these.) In most cases, however, water is treated in bulk quantities and placed into containers in eating facilities and living quarters.

b. Food-These comments apply only to eating on the Vietnamese economy. Food in U. S. messes and clubs comes from approved sources and is safe to consume.

Avoid eating any food from any of the mobile food carts which are scattered throughout all the cities you will visit. These establishments are particularly unsanitary and carry many incapacitating food toxins. In any restaurant, avoid leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, since they are normally not properly washed and harbor amebic cysts responsible for dysentery. Do not eat any salad dressings. Fruits and vegetables are safe to eat only if they are thoroughly cooked if eaten raw, the outer layer is peeled or cut off. Much of the meat in Vietnam is contaminated with worms which do not constitute a health hazard if the meat is thoroughly cooked. Therefore, all meat should be ordered well done. Milk products should be completely avoided. There are, however many drinks and carbonated beverages.

2. Insect borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and plague, although a major problem in various parts of the country, need not be of significant concern to you during your stay in Vietnam. The troop areas in which you will be performing are properly developed and preventive medicine measures have been taken so that incidence of these diseases is rare.

(page 2)

PERSONAL SECURITY RULES

1. Observe existing curfews.

2. Do not remain in the area of the civil disturbance. Remain indoors if it occurs in the vicinity of billets or quarters area.

3. Park automobiles off the street at night in a secure location or otherwise provide for their security.

4. Perform frequent inspections of vehicles for time bombs, booby traps, hidden or concealed explosives or devices.

5. Exercise care in selection and use of public transportation, especially taxis, cycles and motor cars. Do not permit drivers to deviate from desired routes. Keep car windows closed consistent with ventilation requirements when traveling off base.

6. Avoid public bars, restaurants and other places of amusement.

7. Employ the '"'buddy system'"'.

8. Refrain from forming groups of more than three or four persons when outside billets or places of duty.

9. Avoid going out after dark, unless on official business.

10. Remain clear of any area where an off base hostile action is occurring or has occurred.

11. Stay sober and aware of your surroundings.

12. Deviate from usual habits and routine as much as possible.

13. social functions in public places should not be scheduled unless they are necessary to the conduct of official business.

14. Become familiar with the items which are normally around you place of duty and quarters area, so that you can immediately detect the presence of a strange object or a change in location of normal items.

15 Advise servants of their responsibility for maintenance of security at residential quarters.

(page 3)

16. Instruct servants not to admit unidentified or unkown persons to premises and to report any unusual occurrences.

17. Do not allow bicycles or other vehicles to be placed against your building.

18. If in off-base billets and hostile action (gun fire, etc.) is or has occurred outside:

a. Stay away from windows, doors or other openings that might expose you to the hostile fire.

b. Anticipate the possibilities of an explosion (VC mine) to follow.

C. Lay on the floor in an area best affording protection from flying glass.

d. Stay in place until the '"'all clear'"' is heard or until the '"'all clear'"' is reasonably assured. (at least 30 minutes)

e. If an explosion does occur, anticipate a second explosion to follow. VC will usually implant a second mine timed to explode when a crowd is expected to assemble to assist in disaster recovery.

f. Remain clear of the disaster scene unless your assistance is definitely required.

19. Do not accept gifts from strangers.

20. Do not allow anyone else to pack your luggage.

21. Do not allow porter to carry your luggage unless you keep the porter and luggage under your personal surveillance at all times.

22. Do not pick up objects which appear to have been forgotten in bars, restaurants, taxicabs or other places.

23. Always be alert. Be wary of things or situations that appear to be out of the ordinary.

24. Report any unusual or suspicious acts or occurrences to Military Police or Air Police.

25. Wear your '"'dog tags'"'. Don't spread rumors.

(End of Security Rules)

Return to contents
Vietnam Combat Art Home Page