by Agence France-Presse – Australian Broadvasting Corp.
AUSTRALIA (January 12, 2004) — Medical problems linked to the war in Iraq, dubbed Gulf War syndrome, were probably caused by vaccines administered to soldiers before their departure to the region, according to the findings of a medical report revealed in British newspaper The Times.
The confidential report by senior army specialist Lieutenant Colonel Graham Howe, who examined a British soldier who suffered osteoporosis and depression after the Gulf War, found that “secret” injections he received prior to his expected deployment to the Gulf “most probably led to the development of autoimmune-induced osteoporosis”.
The theory has added credibility as the soldier in question, ex-Corporal Alex Izett, did not end up going to the Gulf as his regiment, based in Germany, was not deployed there.
Last year Izett was granted a 50 percent invalidity pension by the British War Pensions Agency, the newspaper reported. The Defence Ministry, while denying the vaccine claim, has not challenged that award.
A copy of the medical report, dated September 22 2001 but never made public, was revealed to the paper by Izett himself.
Gulf War Syndrome is a term popularly applied to a vast range of symptoms, from memory loss, chronic fatigue and dizziness to swollen joints, depression and lack of concentration.
About 100,000 US troops as well as thousands of British, Canadian and French troops who took part in the 1990-1991 operation against Iraq have reported one or more of these problems. But the British Government has refused to recognise its existence.
Veterans’ groups on both sides of the Atlantic are convinced that a host of physical and psychological ailments are linked to military service during the 1991 war.
About 45,000 British soldiers who served in the war were given wide-ranging vaccinations to help them cope with the possible effects of chemical or biological attack, which some doctors give as a reason for the host of symptoms the soldiers have displayed.
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