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From: Ron Norris Advisory Team 68
Date: 30 Jan 2004
Remote Name: 188.8.131.52
VA will no longer do the antibody titer count in its internal labs, first sending out a memo raising the lab containment procedures beyond the safety standards of most VA labs(yes, the bacteria grown in the lab is very contagious and dangerous!) then finally saying they didn't have enough specimens to warrant continued testing BUT they can refer you(per revised VA TAG manual) to your state health dept which if such are in compliance with Home Security Act, etc. they are set up to test/or send serum sample to CDC. Of note, Australian Dept of Vet Affairs has revised their Repatriation Act(like our Title 38) to include Diabetes Mellitus II and some other interesting diseases as related to Melioidosis(www.dva.gov.au, scroll to Veterans Affairs Portfolio, click "Repatriation Medical Authority", enter "melioidosis" in search engine). Something is really odd about this picture: our VA in its own documentation admits that 200,000+ Vietnam veterans are colonized with this bacteria which will remain dormant until our immune systems are compromised(Am I right in saying this is at least 7% of our Viet Vet population??? and this does not include vets/civilians who were stationed in Thailand where the disease was also endemic in the '60s-70's???). For all you guys who have emailed me directly, I apologize for being so slow in getting back to you:my struggle with VA continues, initial claim denied(9/10s of decision was a rehashing of gunshot wounds rather than the issue of claim); am in middle of a hold on appeal; and now I'm prediabetic(no family history of) and the coronary bit due to wildly extreme ups/downs in tryglyeride and LDL levels(diagnosed by VA, but under private MD on this). Be in touch as a can.