mysterious fever strikes British Soldiers in Afganistan

  1. Just reading article that says 31 soldiers have come down with fever, nausea and vomiting of a very sever nature. They have ruled out menengitis at this time. Other possibilities are typhoid, cholera, enteric fever and that flea born illness. Very upsetting because you worry for their sakes and the sakes of everyone over there. These people are putting their lives on the line in more ways than one.
  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   semstr
    True, very sad indeed. But did you read about the italian officer stepping on a landmine, dead, and the German officer killing himself in former Yugoslawia?

    War sucks, Renee
  4. by   boobaby42
    We have a vaccine shortage too! I bet all those who bad mouthed vaccines for children wish they could get their tetanus shots right about now.

    Immunize you kids today!

    from a child advocate
  5. by   oramar
    Heard a brief report calling it a stomach virus. Not sure of details.
  6. by   kids
    got this report yesterday...

    published date 18-may-2002
    subject pro/edr> unidentified fever, british troops - afghanistan (04)

    unidentified fever, british troops - afghanistan (04)
    a promed-mail post
    promed-mail is a program of the
    international society for infectious diseases

    "the epidemiological and viral results confirm nlv as the major cause..."

    date: sat, 18 may 2002 20:16:53 +0100 (bst)
    from: dr angus nicoll

    illness in military personnel in afghanistan - the uk situation as of at 3
    pm saturday 18 may 2002
    it has been reported by the uk ministry of defence that there has been an
    outbreak of diarrhoeal, vomiting and febrile illness in a military field
    hospital in a war zone in afghanistan see

    some of the cases have been transferred to europe [& caused secondary
    infections there -- see below. - mod.jw]

    patients infected in afghanistan
    the first patient arrived in a uk hospital on tue 14 may [2002]. he had been
    moderately unwell and had had diarrhoea and vomiting, and reportedly also
    meningism. on 17 may, 6 more patients transferred having had symptoms of
    vomiting and diarrhoea. all were relatively well on arrival and have
    remained so. another moderately to very unwell patient was transferred to
    germany. no information is available on that case except that his condition
    is improving. another 3 patients are awaiting repatriation to the uk, one of
    these is reportedly moderately to severely unwell. patients have not gone to
    other countries.

    infected contacts
    two or 3 adults who had direct contact with the cases outside afghanistan
    have developed the same symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting: 2 men in the
    airvac crew and one female contact in the uk.

    faeces of 4 patients and one of the contacts have tested positive for
    norwalk like virus (nlv) at the public health laboratory service central
    public health laboratory (by rt-pcr and/or electron microscopy), [said] dr
    david brown. further investigations are being undertaken. so far,
    bacteriological investigations have all been negative but are difficult to
    interpret in patients who have received antibiotics. however, despite
    reasonable speculation in promed no shigella was detected.

    control measures
    normal infection control measures for a viral gastrointestinal outbreak are
    being applied for those potentially and actually exposed in the uk staff.
    contacts have been followed up and many are now outside the expected
    incubation period for nlv. surveillance will continue.

    the epidemiological and viral results confirm nlv as the major cause of the
    gastrointestinal outbreak in uk military personnel in afghanistan, with some
    transfer to the uk.

    drs angus nicoll (director), dilys morgan & olof horstick
    communicable disease surveillance centre, uk

    drs david brown & rob george central public health laboratory
    public health laboratory service, uk

    may 18th
    from dr nicoll's home-email <>
    tel +44 7722 537394

    [we are extremely grateful for this official confirmation, provided out of
    office hours by dr nicoll & colleagues. - mod.jw]
    Last edit by kids on May 19, '02
  7. by   CATHYW
    Can we all say terrorism? How about biological weapons? British winter virus, my back end!

    Also, how about the 6 people that became so violently ill in an. apt. last week? EMS folks thought it was cyanide, the onset was so quick, and they were so ill. Heard today that was shigella. Can you imagine? We've been warned about terroristic problems in apartment buildings, and 6 people get horribly ill in an apartment? What a coincidence!
  8. by   oramar
    Thanks kids-r-fun for the the article giving the details.
  9. by   Stargazer
    Can we all say terrorism? How about biological weapons? British winter virus, my back end!
    I don't see any point in leaping to these kinds of conclusions. Norwalk is a very common and easily-spread illness, particularly in areas where both personal and environmental hygiene are not well-maintained.

    SE Alaska has had big problems with Norwalk in 2 of the previous 4 - 5 summers due to the sharp increase in tourist activity during those months. The symptoms are unpleasant, obviously, but usually relatively mild and duration is rarely more than 48 hours.

    For more information on Norwalk and Norwalk-like viruses, read here:
  10. by   kids
    You are welcome Stargazer...I saw the potential for this to have evolved into a big biological weapon scare, since I had access to the information I felt I should share.

    Norwalk is very common and can be really virulent and makes up a huge percentage of the stomach 'flu' that goes around.
  11. by   oramar
  12. by   oramar
    I posted this sometime ago. I heard a report (finally) yesterday saying something about Samonella. I could not help but wonder if this was the incident they were talking about.
  13. by   Stargazer
    I haven't heard anything about salmonella, but of course it's possible, although I'd like to think they were being more careful with food over there. I do know there have been documented outbreaks of NLV among both American and British troops in Afghanistan. Since there were numerous outbreaks of NLV in London hospitals at the time, it made me wonder if some of the Brits hadn't got unwittingly infected at home and then brought it with them to the Middle East.