|01-11-2005, 06:52 PM||#1 (permalink)|
U.S. Marine ( FAST )
Join Date: Sep 2004
Returning U.S. Troops Need Malaria Checks
CHICAGO (Reuters) - The discovery of a high incidence of malaria among U.S. soldiers returning from Afghanistan prompted a call on Tuesday for doctors to check repatriated military personnel for the disease.
Doctors at Florida's Naval Operational Medicine Institute in Pensacola said they found 38 cases of malaria in a 725-man Army Ranger Task Force that had been deployed to eastern Afghanistan in 2002.
The incidence was about 52 per 1,000 and the disease showed up anywhere from one to 233 days after the soldiers had returned, said the study published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association.
By comparison only 42 cases of malaria per year have been reported in recent times among all U.S. military personnel worldwide, and most of those originated in the Republic of Korea, the report said.
A post-deployment survey of about three-quarters of the Ranger contingent found high levels of noncompliance with anti-malaria measures that include minimizing skin exposure, use of bed nets, impregnating uniforms and bed nets with the insecticide permethrin and applications of insect repellent to exposed skin.
The report recommended continuous education about protective measures for troops deployed in malarial regions.
And because malaria can be slow in slowing up, both civilian and military doctors should check for it when treating someone who might have been exposed and complains of fever or an illness that is otherwise indistinct, the report concluded.
© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.
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