GI Back From Haiti Stricken With Rare Infection

Bryan Garner, WPTV (West Palm Beach), February 24, 2010

U.S. Army Warrant Officer Chris Lust of Stuart is recovering from a rare bacterial infection which he contracted while helping with the earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.

Lust says he was helping distribute food to earthquake victims in Port-au-Prince when he became ill.

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At first he was told he suffered from dengue fever, or possibly malaria. But when he arrived at the VA hospital in Tampa, doctors changed the diagnosis to leptospirosis, he said.

According to the U.S. Army, four soldiers became ill and had to be evacuated for treatment while serving in Haiti. A spokesman would not elaborate on the type of illness those soldiers contracted, or if any of them are sick with leptospirosis, like Lust.

According to the World Health Organization leptospirosis is a rare and severe bacterial infection that is endemic in Haiti. The WHO reports infection in humans may occur when the bacteria come into contact with the skin, typically through contact with unclean water that has been infected by animals.

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