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Were U.S. troops exposed to MERS virus? -Commentary

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Reuters, NBC, and other major news outlets yesterday reported details of an Indiana healthcare worker who returned to the United States from Saudi Arabia with the deadly MERS virus.

Specifically, MERS virus is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and was first positively identified in 2012.

The question: Were U.S. troops exposed to the deadly MERS virus while overseas? Did any of them become infected?

Well over a million U.S. troops have deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Dubai, Qatar, The Philippines, and Kuwait since the Global War on Terror was launched in 2001.

In a conflict like no other, Soldiers have been tasked with “winning the hearts and minds” of locals with outreach missions that included health care, literacy, and agribusiness.

U.S. combat hospitals have treated Iraqis and Afghans by the thousands; many of whom were in detention facilities, and required extensive and extended care.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that healthcare workers are more at risk than the general public for contracting the virus.

It seems curious that not one military physician, nurse, physician’s assistant, or combat medic contracted the deadly MERS virus.

Did warfighters come home with undiagnosed MERS or were perhaps misdiagnosed with Legionnaires Disease, pneumonia, or other unspecified lung diseases? It's a question that should be asked; and if so, was their treatment successful?

MERS is not to be confused with the also potentially deadly MRSA which is a strain of staph bacteria that is antibiotic resistant.

The unidentified patient with the MERS virus is still under quarantine and being treated at Community Hospital in Munster, Ind.

The National Military Examiner publishes military and law enforcement-related content on this site and more here on Facebook and @ ExaminerSusy on Twitter.

Please email me at susyraybon@bellsouth.net if you find errors with content information or spelling. Thanks for reading and thanks for supporting the troops.

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