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Infectious Diseases

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Veterans who were deployed to Southwest Asia (including Iraq) or Afghanistan may experience symptoms of infectious diseases while on active duty, or they may later develop symptoms of infectious diseases that were contracted overseas.

If you are concerned about infectious diseases during military service, talk to your health care provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.

VA offers a variety of health care benefits to eligible Veterans. Not enrolled in the VA health care system? Find out if you qualify for VA health care.

Diseases related to service in Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan

VA presumes that the nine infectious diseases listed below are related to military service in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations during the first Gulf War starting August 2, 1990, through the conflict in Iraq and on or after September 19, 2001, in Afghanistan. Veterans must have the diseases within the time frames shown below and have a current disability as a result of that disease in order to receive disability compensation.

  • Malaria
    An infectious disease caused by a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. Symptoms include chills, fever, and sweats. It must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year from the date of military separation or at a time when standard or accepted treatises indicate that the incubation period began during a qualifying period of military service.
  • Brucellosis
    A bacterial disease with symptoms such as profuse sweating and joint and muscle pain. The illness may be chronic and persist for years. It must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year from the date of military separation.
  • Campylobacter Jejuni
    A disease with symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fever. It must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year from the date of military separation.
  • Coxiella Burnetii (Q Fever)
    A bacterial disease with symptoms such as fever, severe headache, and gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and diarrhea. In chronic cases, the illness may cause inflammation of the heart. It must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of the date of military separation.
  • Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
    An illness that primarily affects the lungs and causes symptoms such as chest pain, persistent cough (sometimes bloody), weight loss and fever.
  • Nontyphoid Salmonella
    A condition characterized by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of the date of military separation.
  • Shigella
    A condition characterized by symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year of the date of military separation.
  • Visceral Leishmaniasis
    A parasitic disease characterized by symptoms such as fever, weight loss, enlargement of the spleen and liver, and anemia. The condition may be fatal if left untreated.
  • West Nile Virus
    A disease spread by mosquitoes characterized by symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain or weakness, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms may range from mild to severe. It must be at least 10 percent disabling within one year from the date of military separation.
Environmental health coordinators directory.
Find out if you’re eligible: Health Benefits Explorer

Contact

Health Care
877-222-8387

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800-827-1000

TDD (Hearing Impaired)
800-829-4833