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Rare pneumonia found among U.S. soldiers in Iraq
CNN/Reuters ^ | December 21, 2004

Posted on 12/21/2004 12:09:33 PM PST by jdm

CHICAGO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - A rare and sometimes deadly pneumonia has hit 18 U.S. soldiers deployed in Iraq, and Army medical investigators are at a loss to explain the cause, according to a study published on Tuesday.

In a report appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center said two of the soldiers had died from the rare illness, called acute eosinophilic pneumonia, or AEP.

No common source was found for the outbreak that occurred between March 2003 and March 2004 among the soldiers in Iraq. The study covered only that time period and there was no indication whether cases have continued to show up since then.

The 18 victims studied ranged in age from 19 to 47 and all used tobacco, with three-quarters recently taking up the habit. All but one reported "significant exposure to fine airborne sand or dust" while in Iraq.

While only 18 cases have been reported among 183,000 troops deployed in Iraq during the time period involved, the authors said the cases are still significant because the disease is very rare in the general population.

The illness was not immediately diagnosed in several victims, who suffered fever and respiratory failure. Several had to be put on mechanical ventilators to help them breathe and were administered corticosteroids. Months later, a few reported continued breathing problems or wheezing.

"Inquiries to the Iraqi health officials did not suggest that AEP was occurring in the local population or that there has been an unusual increase in the incidence of pneumonia of any kind during the study period," the report said.

(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.netscape.cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: aep; atypicalpneumonia; healthcare; iraq; militaryhealthcare; pneumonia

1 posted on 12/21/2004 12:09:33 PM PST by jdm
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To: jdm

I'll say the obvious...Bio-weapon?


2 posted on 12/21/2004 12:10:59 PM PST by My2Cents (To those inclined to receive it, "Merry Christmas!" To those NOT so inclined, "Bah Humbug!")
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To: My2Cents
"I'll say the obvious...Bio-weapon?"

Not sure; it's just strange that the mainstream media had to point out that ALL 18 used tobacco, as if going to Iraq and using tobacco causes pneumonia.
3 posted on 12/21/2004 12:12:36 PM PST by jdm (Stockhausen, Kagel, Xenakis -- world capitals or avant-garde composers?)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: jdm
it's just strange that the mainstream media had to point out that ALL 18 used tobacco, as if going to Iraq and using tobacco causes pneumonia

I bet they all voted for Bush too. Nonetheless this is clearly, "BUSH'S FAULT". /s

5 posted on 12/21/2004 12:15:39 PM PST by rhombus
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To: gohot
Isn't this the same report from the first Gulf War rehashed as "new" or updated?

I don't think so. This (allegedly) covers March 2003 through March 2004.
6 posted on 12/21/2004 12:16:04 PM PST by jdm (Stockhausen, Kagel, Xenakis -- world capitals or avant-garde composers?)
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To: rhombus
I bet they all voted for Bush too. Nonetheless this is clearly, "BUSH'S FAULT". /s

I think CNN's point is that fighting in wars is too risky, since too much combat may result in pneumonia.
7 posted on 12/21/2004 12:18:36 PM PST by jdm (Stockhausen, Kagel, Xenakis -- world capitals or avant-garde composers?)
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To: My2Cents

Yeah, but to have such a small affect group is kinda of wierd... usually a bio weapon will show a pattern of covering an area and having both civillian an military affected... even if the Iraqi health ministry did not report any cases, I would still think that we would see a larger outbreak among the military population.. at least more then 18 people affected.... sounds wierd...

the only exception I could think of to the bio weapon scenario is if it was introduce in either food or water... but I though that pneumonia was pretty much an airborne agent.


8 posted on 12/21/2004 12:19:31 PM PST by Americanwolf (Diehard Packers Fan...Cheap hit on Ferguson 12.19.04 by Donvan Darius... No Christmas card for him!)
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To: Americanwolf

I would be interested in knowing how many of these folks were involved in the destruction of captured enemy ordinance.


9 posted on 12/21/2004 12:23:03 PM PST by gov_bean_ counter
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To: jdm
I think CNN's point is that fighting in wars is too risky, since too much combat may result in pneumonia.

I've been watching CNN since they started. They have no point now except to try and catch Fox and they are failing miserably.

10 posted on 12/21/2004 12:25:32 PM PST by rhombus
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To: jdm

More asbestos miners that smoked got lung cancer than those that didn't. Alone, smoking or exposure to asbestos does not always cause major problems. Mix 'em and it almost always guarantees problems.

The use of tobacco by all 18 soldiers is useful information. Was it all the same brand or lot? Was the shipment of the tobacco mishandled? Is there a bacteria that likes products of combustion. Grilled steak?Researchers will look into all the commonalities.


11 posted on 12/21/2004 12:30:36 PM PST by Cold Heart
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To: gov_bean_ counter

Yeah.. that was my other thought too, but then again if it were an airborne agent once those shells were destroyed I would imagine one of two scenarios occuring...

1.) when the shells were destroyed they would have been bundled together and laced with c4 and det cord... in the ensuing explosion and fireball I think any of the airborne virus or agent would have been consumed or sterilized by the fireball and heat created by the explosion.

2.) If there were a release of an agent into the air after destruction, I would think it would affect others in the geographical area...but that could vary based on weather conditions humidity etc...

Excellent point though.


12 posted on 12/21/2004 12:33:22 PM PST by Americanwolf (Diehard Packers Fan...Cheap hit on Ferguson 12.19.04 by Donvan Darius... No Christmas card for him!)
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To: jdm
Iraq used Chemical and Bio Weapons on American troops in 1991 so I see little reason they would not do so in the current war.
13 posted on 12/21/2004 12:37:42 PM PST by trumandogz
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To: jdm

There is a connection to smoking and getting pneumonia. But it is strange of the Left Wing Media to mention it. There is some truth in what they say


14 posted on 12/21/2004 12:39:27 PM PST by MinstrelBoy (What will you do without freedom?!)
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To: jdm

.........'WMD'..........Iran-North Korean tobacco?


15 posted on 12/21/2004 12:40:57 PM PST by maestro
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To: jdm

.........'WMD'..........Iraqi-Iran-North Korean Tobacco Company?


16 posted on 12/21/2004 12:42:27 PM PST by maestro
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To: gohot
Isn't this the same report from the first Gulf War rehashed as "new" or updated?

I think you may be exactly right.

The best explanation for the first Gulf War Syndrome was that a combination of factors, each perhaps benign taken in isolation, caused the problem.

I bet this is a similar effect.

It is a little eiry though. In the first GW, we were medevacing about 1-3 people per day from Kuwait from pneumonia , and that was just in our batallion. These were young kids, too, in great shape.

At the time we thought it was due to the oil well fires... but you never know.

17 posted on 12/21/2004 12:42:49 PM PST by 2ndreconmarine
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To: jdm
it's just strange that the mainstream media had to point out that ALL 18 used tobacco,

I doubt the media pointed that out on their own, they are not that bright. It was probably listed in the report as the only significant common factor. In fact, its odd the report mentions nothing else these guys had in common except the sand storm. Were they in the road during the storm in the attack phase, were they in the same unit in the same area? Were they eating the same batch of MREs? Did they get water from the same place?

The report is amazeingly vague, which suggests its either poorly done, or there is no THERE THERE, or that they are saying more than they know.

The MSM would be loath to admit the presence of WMD such as gas or bio weapons....

18 posted on 12/21/2004 12:46:02 PM PST by konaice
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To: My2Cents

Doubtful. There are all kinds of strange diseases floating around third world countries that our doctors have forgotten even existed.


19 posted on 12/21/2004 12:52:13 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (God is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: jdm

http://www.afip.org/Departments/hot-topics/pneumonia/01.html

More info at link above. Never trust MSM to get anything right about anything.


20 posted on 12/21/2004 12:57:12 PM PST by Modok
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To: My2Cents

Don't our troups use depleted uranium as weapons... I hope that is'nt the cause?


21 posted on 12/21/2004 1:24:57 PM PST by kibbles-n-mitz
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To: kibbles-n-mitz
"... depleted uranium as weapons..."

Some ordnance, and some armor is made of DU!

What can occur when that stuff goes up in flames......the military isn't telling, so far.

22 posted on 12/21/2004 1:35:15 PM PST by Radix (How does one get cleared for awful facts about Moderators #43?)
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To: jdm; mike1sg

I wonder if these soldiers were buying cigs from the Iraqis...The troops have been ordered not to buy from them...my hubby caught several of his troopers doing this at the fence of his base and confiscated them....


23 posted on 12/21/2004 1:41:26 PM PST by mystery-ak (Please pray for Maj Tammy Duckworth)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

That's probably the cause. A bedouin sneezes on one of our guys, and it could cause an epidemic.


24 posted on 12/21/2004 1:49:55 PM PST by My2Cents (To those inclined to receive it, "Merry Christmas!" To those NOT so inclined, "Bah Humbug!")
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To: jdm

May I gently point out that the story is one year old?


25 posted on 12/21/2004 2:15:26 PM PST by KiloLima (Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas!)
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

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