Former soldier sues MoD for failing to give him antibiotics for Q fever

A former soldier is suing the Ministry of Defence after he contracted Q fever while serving in Afghanistan

Wayne Bass, from Redditch, Worcestershire, said his life has been ruined after the Army failed to give him antibiotics for the infectious disease caused by breathing dust from animal feaces.   

He claims he is now unable to work, struggles to walk and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and night terrors.  

Mr Bass’ case is now the first in history to test the MoD’s duty to protect against Q fever.  

Wayne Bass (pictured), from Redditch, Worcestershire, said his life has been ruined after the Army failed to give him antibiotics for Q fever

Wayne Bass (pictured), from Redditch, Worcestershire, said his life has been ruined after the Army failed to give him antibiotics for Q fever

Wayne Bass (pictured), from Redditch, Worcestershire, said his life has been ruined after the Army failed to give him antibiotics for Q fever

The former solider was a private from the 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment and served in Helmand Province in 2011 – an area with heavy Taliban presence.  

He told the BBC: ‘To avoid enemy fire I was constantly having to dive into ditches on the ground where farm animals had been, there were animals all over the place’. 

Mr Bass, who went on to develop chronic fatigue syndrome, says that the Army failed to provide the antibiotic doxycycline to protect from the risk of Q fever.

He claims he now suffers from aches and pains all over his body and  he has nerve problems in his back which often leaves him immobile. 

Mr Bass was a private from the 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment and served in Helmand Province in 2011 - and area with heavy Taliban presence

Mr Bass was a private from the 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment and served in Helmand Province in 2011 - and area with heavy Taliban presence

Mr Bass was a private from the 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment and served in Helmand Province in 2011 – and area with heavy Taliban presence

The former soldier, who went on to develop chronic fatigue syndrome, says that the Army failed to provide the antibiotic doxycycline to protect from the risk of Q fever

The former soldier, who went on to develop chronic fatigue syndrome, says that the Army failed to provide the antibiotic doxycycline to protect from the risk of Q fever

The former soldier, who went on to develop chronic fatigue syndrome, says that the Army failed to provide the antibiotic doxycycline to protect from the risk of Q fever

He told the BBC: ‘It has brought about a spike in my post-traumatic stress disorder, I have night terrors, I feel very low and isolated, very depressed. I am on anti-depressants. I can’t see a future.’

What is Q fever?  

Q fever is a bacterial infection you can catch from breathing in dust from feaces of infected farm animals such as sheep, cattle and goats. 

It’s usually harmless, but can cause serious problems in some people.

Symptoms include a a fever, aching muscles, tiredness, feeling sick and swollen glands.

You can also get Q fever from drinking unpasteurised milk (milk that hasn’t been heated to kill bacteria), but this is less likely.

Although Q fever is rare, people who work closely with animals are more at risk, such as farmers, vets, stablehands and abattoir workers.

In rare cases, it can lead to chronic fatigue syndrome. 

Source: NHS 

The five-day trial, starting at Central London County Court on Monday, will examine the extent of any duty owed by the Army to Mr Bass in relation to Q fever, and whether that duty was breached.

Justin Glenister, partner at Hilary Meredith Solicitors, the firm acting for Mr Bass said: ‘This is the first case in which the question will be asked whether the MoD had a duty to protect soldiers against this known risk of Q fever, which we say was a preventable risk, and what steps it ought to have taken to protect them.

‘There are other similar cases being prepared.’

The MoD said it was inappropriate to comment while legal proceedings were ongoing.

Humans can catch Q fever after breathing in particles from the faeces of infected farm animals such as sheep, cattle and goats.

The NHS says the bacterial infection is ‘usually harmless, but can cause serious problems in some people’.

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