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File: 970207_aadcs_001.txt
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                           		DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
	                                           WASHINGTON D.C.
                                                                 20332-6188                 18 NOV 1991 
   ATTN OF:  

   SUBJECT: Viscerotropic Leishmaniasis in Military Personnel Returning from Operation
   Desert Shield/Desert Storm
    To: HQ ATC/SG          HQ AL/SO                       HQ AFLC/SG               HQ AFSC/SG
         HQ MAC/SO         HQ SAC/SO                     HQ TAC/SG                 HQ USAFE/SG
         HQ USAFA/SG      HQ PACAF/SG                HQ AFRES/SG             NGB/SG
         HQ AFIA/SG         HQ AFSPACECOM/SG   DeCA/DOC                   HQ ESC/SG

       1. Seven soldiers returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm were
       admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center between Nov 90 and Oct 91 for
       fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The mild illness
       resulted from infection with the parasite Leishmania tropica, which is
       transmitted by the bite of a sandfly. This specific parasite normally causes
       skin lesions only. so this is a previously unrecognized disease and very
       little is known.

       2. Leishmaniasis can potentially be transmitted by blood transfusions,
       although the risk is felt to be extremely small. The Assistant Secretary of
       Defense (Health Affairs) has directed that all military personnel returning
       from Southwest Asia since 1 Aug 90 be temporarily deferred from donating
       blood. This deferral may dramatically reduce the amount of blood available
       and could impact surgery if additional donors are not located.

       3. An information paper informing clinicians of potential Leishmaniasis
       infection in military personnel returning from the Middle East is provided at
       Attachment 1. A copy of this information paper should be forwarded to all
       providers currently practicing in Air Force medical treatment facilities.

       4. Our points of contact are     [(b)(2)]                  
       Bolling AFB,DC 20332-6188.

         PAUL D. GLEASON, Brig Gen, USAF, MC                                    1 Atch
         Director, Professional Affairs                                                            Information Paper
           and Quality Assurance
         Office of the Surgeon General                                                            cc: HSD/CC
                                                                                                                         HQ USEUCOM/ECMD

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