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Posted: 5/15/2002 2:34:22 PM EST
Los Angeles Times: Fever Hits British Troops at Bagram


Fever Hits British Troops at Bagram
Associated Press Writer

May 15 2002, 12:49 PM PDT

BAGRAM, Afghanistan -- Eighteen British soldiers serving in Afghanistan have
been struck by a contagious but unidentified fever, and 350 people have been
quarantined to prevent it spreading, the top British commander in the coalition
said Wednesday.

Brig. Roger Lane said the 18 ailing men were all military medical personnel
serving at the main allied air base at Bagram, about 30 miles north of the
capital, Kabul.

At the Pentagon, spokesman Lt. Col. David Lapan said no U.S. or other coalition
personnel in Afghanistan are known to have come down with the fever. Lapan said
the exact nature and cause of the illness has not yet been determined.

Two of the British soldiers were seriously ill and their next of kin have been
notified, Lane said. One was evacuated to Britain for treatment while the other
was flown to a U.S. military hospital in Germany. The rest are being cared for
at Bagram.

"We believe it's some kind of enteric (intestinal) fever, but we have yet to go
and establish what exactly it is," Lane said.

Soldiers first started reporting symptoms three days ago, including fever,
diarrhea and vomiting, Lane said. The illness was similar to meningitis, but
medics did not believe that was the culprit.

Lane said the area around the field hospital where the sick soldiers work had
been isolated and military police were deployed to prevent trespassers. Some 350
people work at the hospital.

About 1,700 British troops are currently deployed at Bagram and have been
involved in two military operations in eastern Afghanistan since arriving in the
country last month. There also are soldiers from countries ranging from
Australia to Poland at Bagram, including about 2,700 U.S. troops.

Lane said, however, that no hospital personnel had left the base since they
arrived. The hospital has treated almost exclusively British troops, though one
Afghan was treated two weeks ago, he said.

Earlier this month, three British Royal Marines were evacuated to Bagram during
an operation in mountainous eastern Afghanistan. Two were diagnosed with
altitude sickness and one had dysentery.

Copyright 2002 Associated Press
Link Posted: 5/15/2002 2:36:44 PM EST
Yes, everyone is following this one.  There isn't enough information yet to make a determination of what the problem is.

Link Posted: 5/15/2002 2:41:38 PM EST
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