This is more a question for Infonick and other people that serve or have served in the military recently: did they make you take special vaccines if you were going to be deployed? The reason I ask is because I’m not sure if the parasite responsible for Gulf War syndrome has a known and active vaccine (though there are ways to get immunized). Otherwise, there might be a lot of potentially sick people coming back to the states.
(Gulf War syndrome is due to a visceral infection of what are usually cutaneous leishmanias - hemoflagelates of a different genus than trypanosomes, which I’m sure the South American visitors know about).
Originally posted by Sinistral (Gulf War syndrome is due to a visceral infection of what are usually cutaneous leishmanias - hemoflagelates of a different genus than trypanosomes, which I’m sure the South American visitors know about).
I would ask about what all of those terms mean, but I’m not sure I want to know. >.>
Hemoflagelates are protozoan (of the protist kingdom) parasites. They’re called “hemo” because they live in the blood. For example, trypanosomes are responsible for Chagas’ disease in the New World (mainly South America) and its caused by T. cruzi, transmitted by the kissing bug. In Africa , the tsetse fly transmits T. brucei rhodisiense and T. brucei gambiense cause African sleeping sickness which results in nervous system infections and ultimately death.
Leishmanias aren’t trypanosomes, but they belong in the same category. They’re transmitted by sand flies and they can live in a lot of different organisms than humans. Cutaneous strains like to leave sores that can deeply scar someone, mucocutaneous strains will have euhm…dramatic effects… and vicseral strains will have a field day in organs like your spleen.
DO NOT click on the following pics if you have a weak stomach; note these aren’t visceral infections.
We get a TON of vaccines. Many of the ones in boot camp I don’t know what I got since it is more of a “take it and get back in formation” sort of deal. After I’ve been told abotu the vaccines. In fact, my unit gives like a half hour to an hour class on each vaccine. I’ve gotten 3 anthrax shots (half of the needed for full immunization) and I can get the fourth, but my unit was in Iraq so they didn’t get it and since we are all back now, we aren’t getting any shots presently (we have a lto fo other stuff to worry about). Right before flying over my unit got a small pox shot. I’d have to look at my record to tell you what I got in boot camp. However, they do give us shots for the regions we go to. Granite, some stuff is probably always missed, but we get a lot of shots. We get so many it is hard to keep track of them all. So far only one person has become very sick after coming back, but he’s better now (from my unit). I’ve gotten a rash from dealing with the stuff (like crawling around the vehicles or dealing with all the stuff that was over there and is still dirty). In fact, I was squaring away my gear this weekend and the rash flared up again, but it disappeared after a couple of minutes and didn’t itch nearly as much as when I first saw it. I haven’t seen much else though, except for normally expected thigns (hearing loss, bulllet wound, etc.)
Vaccinations originally came from some leishmania observations. For a long time, middle eastern moms would poke their kids on the butt to make em sick. 2 issues here: 1- that was the cutaneous type , 2- they still got infected. Nonetheless, infected once, they didn’t have to worry about disfiguration issues later on in life.
I was asking about a specific vaccination for the military because I don’t know if there is any vaccine currently made against these parasites. Maybe some folks in South America or Eastern Europe can help elucidate that with their immunological records. But I think that the big deal I was trying to get to was if the US military was working on special vaccines for their troops since they got a visceral form of what should’ve been a cutaneous form. That makes me wonder.
As for longer term effects, the guy with half his face eaten off is “long term”. I’ll have to wait til I’m home in a few hours before I can tell you about other “long term” issues.
The trypanosomes are the ones with some long term effects. Rhodisiense kills you within months, gambiense kills you within a few years, cruzi gives you Chagas disease, which can take decades to form.
We have cases of leishmania here in Brazil, mostly due to people being ignorant on how to handle their pets. The most common one we have here is transmitted by mosquitoes, who will bite an infected dog and then a human.
Brazil developed the first vaccine against visceral leishmania intended to be used on dogs, called ‘Leishmune’.
Last article I got about it is dated from 8/15/2003, and it says that there is no vaccine against visceral leishmania for human use.