Is there a new Gulf War Syndrome linked to this spring’s war in Iraq?
Four British soldiers are convinced there is and are filing suit against the Ministry of Defense to seek justice, according to the London Evening Standard.
The new illness, the soldiers claim, was caused by a set of vaccinations they received before shipping out to Iraq. They link the malady to “vaccine overload.”
According to the report, the practice of giving anthrax vaccinations on top of other vaccines is being implicated.
“We are expecting at least 6,000 new cases as a result of the Iraq conflict – about 30 percent of the 22,000 troops who had the anthrax vaccination,” Tony Flint of the National Gulf Veterans and Families’ Association told the Evening Standard.
The four soldiers suing claim depression, breathing problems and eczema all stem from the vaccines they received.
“These guys are clearly suffering from vaccine overload,” professor Malcolm Hooper told the paper, adding that the government didn’t seem to have learned from “the mistakes of the 1991 conflict.”
Hooper claims the veterans’ group has done studies showing victims “have excessive symptoms – three to four-fold compared with people who have not been vaccinated in the same way.”
According to the report, 45,000 personnel in the British military refused to be given the anthrax vaccine.
“The symptoms that these four individuals are experiencing are identical to those of the individuals I represent in relation to the first Gulf war,” noted Mark McGhee, the four soldiers’ attorney.
The Evening Standard reports the British High Court is scheduled to rule within weeks on whether Gulf War Syndrome can be officially recognized in the law.