United States veterans who fought in the Vietnam War had to endure many hardships. The problems did not end for many of them when they returned home. That many still be the case 42 years after the United States finally pulled out of Vietnam. This is because it is very possible that some of the soldiers who served in Vietnam could be infected with a parasite that is commonly found in Southeast Asia. A study has been performed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. They want to see if there is any sort of a connection between bile cancer found in veterans and a fluke parasite that gets into the body by eating fish that is either undercooked or raw.
The parasite takes several decades before it starts to do damage to its host. In fact, the person may have no idea they have a parasite because they do not feel any pain. It is usually too late to do anything once the person starts to feel bad. They usually only live for a few more months after that point.
50 veterans had their blood tested during the study. 20 percent of those people tested positive for the parasite. This surprised the head researcher who was in charge of performing the tests. However, he cautions that there are still more test that he needs to perform before he gets any conclusive results. Fortunately, the parasites can be killed very easily with medication. However, they need to be detected in their early stages of development.