New Ebola-like Virus Threatens U.S. Troops In Afghanistan

Sara Carter reports exclusively for the Washington Times:

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan | U.S. military officials sent a medical team to a remote outpost in southern Afghanistan this week to take blood samples from members of an Army unit after a soldier in the unit died from an Ebola-like virus.

Dr. Jim Radike, an expert in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the Role 3 Trauma Hospital at Kandahar Air Field, told The Washington Times that Sgt. Robert David Gordon, 22, from River Falls, Ala., died Sept. 16 from what turned out to be Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever after he was bitten by a tick. The virus is transmitted by infected blood and can be carried by ticks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Radike, who is with the Navy, said the medical team “will be taking blood samples and the results may take several weeks to get back.” He called it “a precautionary measure.”

Dr. Radike did not say how many individuals would be tested or why the military had waited until now to act. The unit involved is the 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry division, A-Company 2-1 Infantry.

The news comes as the Pentagon disclosed that it has sent 150,000 doses of vaccine for the H1N1 swine flu virus to Qatar for distribution to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan – half of what U.S. Central Command has requested. More than a half dozen Afghans have died of the disease, which apparently was transmitted to the country by foreigners…

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