It has been reported by Stars and Stripes on Friday that 6 U.S. soldiers serving in Haiti during the relief effort after the devastating earthquake. One of the soldiers was so severely ill that he was taken to the Army hospital at Fort Bragg, NC.
The soldier, who was on life support and near death, is now expected to make a full recovery. He was diagnosed with falciparum malaria, the very deadly strain which happens to be endemic in Haiti.
The other soldiers are being treated for malaria at their units in Haiti.
These cases of malaria come on the heels of a Naval Petty Officer who died from the parasitic disease after getting infected in Liberia last December.
According to Army officials, all soldiers deployed to Haiti are given prophylactic doxycycline 48 hours before deployment. In addition, soldiers are supposed to have their uniforms treated with the insecticide, Permethrin. They are also given DEET to apply to their skin throughout the day.
The problem however, according to military studies is non-compliance of the antibiotic prophylaxis regimen and the sporadic use of the other preventive measures.
Insecticide treated bed nets are also supposed to be issued for deployed military personnel.
In addition to malaria, a warrant officer also deployed to Haiti, became extremely ill after a bout of leptospirosis. This is a bacterial disease which people get when exposed to water that’s contaminated with animal urine, particularly rat urine. He is being treated in a Tampa hospital.