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• Hospitalization of 1-7 days IRAQ
Prevention – Shake out boots/bedding/clothing prior to
Schistosomiasis – Wading, swimming in water
use; never walk barefoot; avoid sleeping on the ground;
contaminated with schistosoma parasites
use caution when entering abandoned buildings or
• Threat – Typically April through November
bunkers; seek medical attention if bitten/stung.
• Symptoms – Mild infections are generally
asymptomatic; febrile illness may occur with Hazardous Plants – Toxic plants can cause skin/lung
heavy infections. irritation if touched/burned and poisoning if
• Heavy acute infections may require over 7 days of chewed/eaten.
hospitalization. Prevention – Do not touch, chew, eat, or burn unfamiliar
Prevention – Do not swim/wade in unapproved water; plants; wash contaminated skin/clothing after contact.
wash skin and clothing after exposure to freshwater HIGH ELEVATIONS
Operations at 6,000 feet can impact unit and individual
Short-term health risks Signs of altitude sickness: headache, nausea, vomiting,
• Food contaminated with fecal pathogens dizziness, fatigue, irritability, coughing
• Water contaminated water with raw sewage
• Extreme heat, high altitude, airborne sand Acclimatization:
Long-term health risks • Staged Ascent – Ascend to moderate altitude
• Air contamination (5,000–8,000 feet) and remain there for 3 days
• Chemical contamination of food and water before ascending higher.
• Graded Ascent – Limit daily altitude to allow
partial acclimatization. Spend 2 nights at 9,000 This country-specific guide should be used in
Venomous Snakes – High incidence of snakebite injuries feet and limit to no more than 1,000 feet per day
above each night’s sleep.
conjunction with GTA 08-05-062, Guide to
in country; black snakes and vipers, well-camouflaged Staying Healthy, and is intended to provide
and aggressive, found country-wide. If bitten, seek Treatment – The preferred method to treat any high information that can help reduce your risk of
urgent medical attention! altitude illness is to evacuate the individual to a lower Disease and Non-battle Injuries (DNBI) when
Prevention – Do not handle any snake. altitude. See GTA 08-05-060, A Soldier’s Guide to deployed. This health threat and
Staying Healthy at High Elevations. countermeasure information is based on the
Other Reptiles – Aggressive lizards, present in many
most current data available from U.S.
Department of Defense medical agencies at
Prevention – Do no feed or handle any animal. Prepared by: the time of production. In addition to the
Centipedes, Millipedes, and Solpugids – None with information in this guide, you should also
deadly venom but capable of inflicting painful bites or receive force health protection, health threat,
secreting fluids that can blister skin and preventive medicine countermeasures
U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion & Preventive training/briefings prior to and, as required,
Prevention – Shake out boots/bedding/clothing prior to
Medicine throughout the length of your deployment.
use; never walk barefoot; avoid sleeping on the ground;
seek medical attention if bitten.
Scorpions and Spiders – Some scorpions have potentially (800) 222-9698/ DSN 584-4375/ (410) 436-4375
lethal venom; tarantulas, black widow spiders, and yellow SHG 042-1105
sac spiders can deliver painful bites. Deployment Health Guide Series
January 2006
IRAQ OVERVIEW Food-borne and Water-borne Diseases Animal Contact Diseases (Continued)
Location – Iraq is in the Middle East and borders the • Initial symptoms – pain, tingling, or itching
Persian Gulf. It has a land area slightly larger than Diarrhea, bacterial – A potential attack rate of over 50 from bite site; chills, fever, muscle aches
California. percent a month if local food, ice, or water is • Death likely in the absence of post-exposure
consumed prophylaxis
Climate – Extremely hot and dry during the summer
• Threat year-round; countrywide
months (May–October) producing temperatures that
• Symptoms – loose, watery or explosive bowel Prevention – Avoid all animals; if scratched or bitten,
can reach up to 122° F with an extreme evening low movements seek medical attention immediately; pre- and/or post-
of 37° F. During the winter months (November–April), • Recovery of 1–3 days with antibiotics exposure vaccinations if prescribed by medical
temperatures can reach a high of 109° F with an
extreme evening low of 25° F. Typhoid/Paratyphoid fever – A potential attack rate of authority.
less than 1 percent among unvaccinated personnel Others – Anthrax, Q fever
Humidity – Highest humidity occurs during the wet consuming local food, water or ice
season. • Threat year-round; countrywide Respiratory Diseases
Rainfall – December through February is the wettest • Symptoms – fever, constipation, headache
Tuberculosis – Breathing contaminated air droplets
time of year. Precipitation is greatest in northeastern • Hospitalization of 1–7 days
from other people (coughing/sneezing)
Iraq which receives an average of 15–19 inches of
Prevention – Consume only U.S. military-approved • Highest threat from prolonged close contact
rain annually and snow up to 3 months a year.
food, water, ice; hepatitis A vaccine and/or typhoid with local populations
Terrain – The Zagros Mountains located along the vaccine if directed by medical authority. • Threat year-round; countrywide
borders of Iran and Turkey consist of numerous peaks
• Symptoms – None to cough, chest pain,
exceeding 10,000 feet. The Al-Jazira is a plain with Vector-borne Diseases
some hills and low mountain ranges under 5000 feet. breathlessness, night sweats
The northern and southern deserts are bare plains. Leishmaniasis (cutaneous) – Small number of cases • Severe illness or death if not treated
possible overall, but rate may be high in focal areas
Forces of Nature – Dust storms and sandstorms Prevention – Avoid close contact with local
• Greatest threat July–September; rural areas
occur year round. populations; early detection/treatment reduces
RISK ASSESSMENT • Symptoms – Non-healing skin ulcers that
Iraq is at INTERMEDIATE RISK* for infectious appear 1 week to 6 months following infection Sexually Transmitted Diseases
diseases. Without force health protection measures, • Transmission – Sand flies that bite mainly at
Gonorrhea/Chlamydia – Unprotected sexual contact
mission effectiveness will be adversely impacted. night
with infected person; high number of cases possible
• Not usually debilitating but requires non-
*Based on a combination of all major infectious • Threat year-round; countrywide
urgent evacuation, often with prolonged
diseases that occur in a country, the Armed Forces • Symptoms (in men) – None to burning
inpatient treatment sensation when urinating or discharge
Medical Intelligence Center (AFMIC) assigns an
Others – Rare or undetermined number of cases • Symptoms (in women) – None to burning
overall country risk level of low, intermediate, high,
could occur: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (tick- when urinating to increased vaginal discharge
or very high risk, as compared to other countries. • Mild; outpatient treatment
borne); leishmaniasis (visceral, sand fly-borne);
INFECTIOUS DISEASES malaria (mosquito-borne); plague (flea-borne); Others – HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B
Boutonneuse fever (tick-borne); sandfly fever (sand
Food-borne and Water-borne Diseases fly-borne); and West Nile fever (mosquito-borne) Prevention – Abstinence; latex condoms; not sharing
Consuming contaminated food, water, or ice needles; hepatitis B vaccine
Prevention – DEET on exposed skin; permethrin-
Hepatitis A – A potential attack rate of 1–10 percent treated uniforms; permethrin-treated bed nets; malaria
Water Contact Diseases
per month among unvaccinated personnel could prevention pills if prescribed
occur if local food, water, or ice is consumed. Leptospirosis – Wading, swimming, other contact with
• Threat year-round; countrywide Animal Contact Diseases
water/mud contaminated with infected animal urine;
• Symptoms – none to flu-like illness Rabies – Exposure to virus-laden saliva of an infected unknown number of cases could occur.
• Severe, 1–4 weeks recovery, sometimes animal through a bite, scratch, or breathing airborne
initially requiring hospitalization droplets; risk well-above U.S. levels • Threat year-round; countrywide
• Threat year-round; countrywide • Symptoms – fever, chills, nausea