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[casi] Re: 'Mysterious' Illnesses - DU anyone

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Hi, Here again the mention too of swirling dust storms. And the tank driver
who died, one of the first thoughts I had during the 'war' with the endless
dust from storms and tanks, was when thethose in tanks said the dust got
everywhere and they hadn't washed or changed clothes for days. I have a
feeling of certainty, like the Balkans, Afghanistan, here we go again. Best,




US troops in Iraq more concerned about attacks, heat than pneumonia outbreak

BAGHDAD (AP) ‹ US forces in Iraq say they're more concerned about guerrilla
attacks and the heat than about a pneumonia outbreak that has killed two
soldiers and sent more than a dozen to Europe for medical care.
In Washington, US military healthcare experts say they have issued new
guidelines to fight the illness, but more than a dozen soldiers interviewed
Wednesday by the Associated Press in Baghdad and Tikrit said they haven't
seen them.
³That's news to me,² said US Staff Sgt. Julian Oliver, 28. ³They have put
out nothing on it.² He and six other American soldiers manned a checkpoint
on the 14th of July Bridge in the capital, Baghdad.
³I don't know how it's possible to get pneumonia in this heat,² said Oliver,
of New York City, sweat streaming down his face. ³There is more danger out
there for me and my soldiers than pneumonia.² More than 100 soldiers on duty
in Iraq have been infected with pneumonia since March 1, according to Col.
Guy Shields, a top military spokesman in Baghdad. Fourteen of the cases were
serious enough to merit evacuation to a military hospital in Landstuhl,
Germany. Shields said nine have recovered and three remain hospitalized.
The soldiers who talked to AP said they were more worried about the near
daily guerrilla attacks and avoiding heat stroke than pneumonia, an
inflammation of the lungs that can be triggered by a variety of bacteria and
³It's the lowest of my worries here,² said Spc. Brian Richter, 21, of
Dayton, Washington.
Others, including Capt. Alex Morales, 39, a medic in Tikrit, said soldiers
have heard about the outbreak, but have more important worries.
³It's not that pneumonia isn't important. It's just not high on our radar
screen,² said Morales, of New York City, adding attacks against soldiers by
rocket-propelled grenades and homemade bombs were ³more real.² Morales said
the US army has sent out special forms to track new cases of pneumonia.
The guerrilla campaign against American occupiers in Iraq has claimed 52
lives since May 1. The US military has said coalition-led soldiers
throughout Iraq are being attacked an average of 12 times daily.
Military officials in Washington advised the nearly 160,000 troops in Iraq
to take precautions against pneumonia by avoiding dehydration in
temperatures that have topped 53 Celsius and avoiding the omnipresent dust
by wearing masks.
Iraq has been plagued by dust storms recently with brief, quick winds
whipping up funnel clouds as high as five stories in some areas of the
country of nearly 25 million people. With no rain, the dust has been
Despite the guidelines, soldiers told AP they had yet to receive copies.
Drinking plenty of water has been a priority since they marched through the
country in March and April, but directives to water down dusty surfaces or
wear masks haven't been publicized.
³If we start seeing that, it could cause problems,² said Morales, likening
it to fear over the outbreak earlier this year of SARS, or severe acute
respiratory syndrome.
Spc. Brandi Schneider, a 24-year-old medic from Texas, said any information
can help soldiers.
³If you have a bunch of sick soldiers, you can't be effective,² he said in
Sgt. Michael L. Tosto, 24, a tank driver, died June 17 from pneumonia that
developed rapidly and killed him before he was airlifted from Baghdad to
Germany. Spc. Joshua M. Neusche, 20, died July 12 in Germany after
contracting the virus in Iraq.
First Sgt. Abel Tavera, 36, said Tosto was in his unit and developed what
was thought to be a cold. However, he became so sick that Tavera took him to
a medic in Baghdad.
A six-person team, including infectious disease experts, is being sent to
Iraq to analyse soil, air and water samples, US defence officials said. Two
other experts have been sent to Germany.
Thursday, August 7, 2003

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