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Military Order of the Purple Heart Missouri

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Final Gulf War regulation published for new presumptions, nine diseases

Please forward this information to all Southwest Asia Vets and active duty personnel you know.



Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced Sept. 29 the publication of a final regulation in the Federal Register that makes it easier for veterans to obtain Department of Veterans Affairs health care and disability compensation for certain diseases associated with service in Southwest Asia, including Iraq or Afghanistan.

The final regulation establishes new presumptions of service connection for nine specific infectious diseases associated with military service in Southwest Asia beginning on or after the start of the first Gulf War on Aug. 2, 1990, through the conflict in Iraq and on or after Sept. 19, 2001, in Afghanistan.

The final regulation reflects a determination of a positive association between service in Southwest Asia or Afghanistan and nine diseases and includes information about the long-term health effects potentially associated with these diseases: Brucellosis, Campylobacter jejuni, Coxiella Burnetii (Q fever), Malaria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Nontyphoid Salmonella, Shigella, Visceral leishmaniasis and West Nile virus.

With the final rule, a veteran will only have to show service in Southwest Asia or Afghanistan and that he or she had one of the nine diseases within a certain time after service and has a current disability as a result of that disease, subject to certain time limits for seven of the diseases. Most of these diseases would be diagnosed within one year of return from service, through some conditions may manifest at a later time.

For non-presumptive conditions, a veteran is required to provide medical evidence to establish an actual connection between military service in Southwest Asia or Afghanistan and a specific disease.

The decision to add these presumptives was made after reviewing the 2006 report of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (NASIOM), titled, “Gulf War and Health Volume 5: Infectious Diseases.” The 2006 report differed from the four prior reports by looking at the long-term health effects of certain diseases determined to be pertinent to Gulf War veterans. Shinseki decided to include Afghanistan Veterans in these presumptions because NAS found that the nine diseases are also prevalent in that country.

For information about health problems associated with military service in Southwest Asia and Afghanistan, and related VA programs,click here or here.

For information about how to apply for disability compensation, click here.

Re: Final Gulf War regulation published for new presumptions, nine diseases

As the widow of a Desert Shield - Desert Storm military veteran, I do appreciate people and associations that are continuing to follow up on the problems associated with service in this theater of operation. Thanks.

There were so many of us who knew early on that there were health issues related to service. It was impossible to get military or civilian physicians to be willing to pursue our concerns at all. Hopefully, there will begin to be some help for those who have not already passed away at a young age.

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