Posted on January 21, 2019
Wayne Bass claims his life has been ruined by the Army’s failure to provide antibiotics which would have protected him from the disease. His case is the first to test the MoD’s duty to protect against Q fever, an infectious disease linked to exposure to animal excrement. The MoD says it is not appropriate to comment on ongoing legal cases.
In 2011, Mr Bass, then a private serving with 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, was deployed to Helmand Province, to an area known for its heavy Taliban presence and fire.
Pte Bass’s platoon was responsible for reconnaissance and protecting other forces.
It is there that he believes he contracted Q fever, an infection caused by bacteria most commonly found in cattle, sheep, and goats. Humans typically get Q fever when they breathe in dust from faeces of infected animals. “To avoid enemy fire I was constantly having to dive into ditches on the ground where farm animals had been, there were animals all over the place,” he says.
Initially, as is typical with the disease, he experienced flu-like symptoms and an army doctor diagnosed Q fever. Intravenous antibiotics failed to cure him and following periods in hospital and at the MoD’s Headley Court rehabilitation centre in Surrey, he was diagnosed with Q fever chronic fatigue syndrome. Normally, the fever is successfully treated with antibiotics and it is rare for it to develop into chronic fatigue syndrome.