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Gulf War syndrome

Unlike any conflict before, the Gulf War of 1991 played out in a brave new world of biological warfare. A round-the-clock television audience was captivated by the flying missiles that lit up the night sky. Canadian troops, sent abroad for combat for the first time since the Korean War joined the Allied forces to fight Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. On the surface, the occupation ended swiftly and decisively as the Iraqi forces retreated. But as was evident over the next decade, the problems remained unresolved.

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Nausea, rashes, irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue -- the symptoms are the same. For seven years now, Gulf War veterans have been battling a mysterious illness. Rumours abound about exposure to depleted uranium and bad vaccines. But a new study sponsored by the government says there is no such thing as Gulf War syndrome. They say that it is simply a serious case of battle stress. This television report covers the debate in Canada.
• Other symptoms of Gulf War syndrome include aching joints, memory loss, hacking cough and blisters.

• 150 Canadians have registered concerns over Gulf War syndrome with the Department of Defence. Approximately 80,000 Americans and 1,000 British soldiers have also officially stated that they suffer from Gulf War syndrome.

• As of 2003 the Canadian Forces Medical Service is continuing to treat patients with symptoms but will not directly correlate the illness with the Gulf War.

• Depleted uranium is a powerful new weapon deemed the "silver bullet," because of its ability to burn on impact and shatter into toxic radioactive bits.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: June 29, 1998
Guest(s): Scott Cameron, Roméo Dallaire, Louise Richard
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Ron Charles
Duration: 2:28

Last updated: June 21, 2013

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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