Gulf War illnesses: complex medical, scientific & political paradox

Gulf War illnesses are a collection of disorders that for the

most part can be diagnosed and treated, if effective

programmes exist to assist veterans, and in some cases their

immediate family members. Although these illnesses are complex

and have multi-organ signs and symptoms, a proportion of these

patients can be identified as having Chronic Fatigue

Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and/or

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS). Although there are many possible

causes of CSF/ME/FMS, chronic infections can explain, at least

in a subset of patients, the apparent transmission of these

illnesses to family members and the appearance of chronic,

multi-organ and auto-immune signs and symptoms. Unfortunately,

many veterans who have been diagnosed with chronic infections,

such as mycoplasmal infections, cannot obtain adequate

treatment for their condition, resulting in their reliance on

private physicians and clinics for assistance. This lack of

response may ultimately be responsible for the transmission of

the illness to non- veterans.

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