US-Soldaten erkranken an Lungenentzündungen


10. März 2003
01-08-03 23:45

US Army probes pneumonia deaths among Iraq troops

By Will Dunham
WASHINGTON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. Army has dispatched
a team of medical experts to Iraq to investigate a spate of
serious pneumonia cases among U.S. troops, with two dead and
more than 100 sickened, officials said on Friday.
Lt. Gen. James Peake, the Army's surgeon general, has sent
two doctors and four other experts to Iraq and two more doctors
to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where some of
the troops were treated after being flown from Iraq, officials
"It is pneumonia. The question is what is the cause," said
Lyn Kukral, spokeswoman for Peake and the Army Medical
"The epidemiological teams will look and follow the facts
wherever they lead," Kukral added. "You've got a healthy
population and a young population (U.S. troops), and you have
two soldiers who have died, and that's a concern."
Kukral said there have been more than 100 cases among U.S.
troops in the Iraq region since the beginning of March,
including 15 serious enough to warrant medical evacuation to
get the patients ventilators to assist their breathing.
Of these 15, two Army soldiers died, 10 troops recovered
and three remain hospitalized, Kukral said. Most of these 15
cases have involved Army soldiers, but at least one U.S. Marine
was sickened, she added.

The teams being sent to Iraq and Germany are hunting for a
possible common thread. The troops who have come down with
pneumonia were geographically dispersed and came from different
military units, officials said. The cases also occurred
periodically over five months rather than all at once.
Kukral said no infectious agent such as a bacterium or
virus has been discovered to be common to all the cases.
"We have no evidence to indicate that there are chemical or
biological weapons or environmental toxins involved," she said,
adding that experts also have ruled out Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, as a possibility.
The six-person team heading to Iraq will include two
physicians -- an infectious disease specialist and an
epidemiologist -- as well as two microbiologists, a laboratory
technician and a preventive medicine technician, Kukral said.
The Germany team is made up of an infectious disease
specialist and an epidemiologist.
The teams will review medical records and question patients
and medical workers. The Iraq team also will sample soil, water
and air to gauge whether these factors might be playing a role,
Kukral said.
Pneumonia is a sometimes fatal infection or inflammation of
the lungs in which air sacs fill with pus and other liquid,
interfering with oxygen reaching the blood stream. There are
more than 30 known causes of pneumonia.
Kukral said the actual number of cases is not unexpected
given the number of U.S. troops in Iraq and the region, adding
that it may turn out that the cases are unrelated to one
another. She said a desert environment can exacerbate
respiratory problems.
((Reporting by Will Dunham, editing by Jane Sutton;; +1 202 898 8300, fax 703-979-7220))

hört sich sehr rätselhaft an, könnte sogar an der munition liegen oder?

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