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Vietnam vets urged to get tested for liver fluke

Dec 06, 2017 8:00 am

Richard Moody is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media officials representing military veterans in Greene and Columbia counties are urging Vietnam veterans to have their blood tested for the presence of the liver fluke, a potentially deadly parasite. The recommendation comes after the Bureau of Veterans Affairs found 20 percent of Vietnam veterans who participated in a pilot test showed evidence of the parasite. The study is attempting to evaluate the potential link between eating raw or undercooked fish from Vietnam rivers to bile duct cancer. Liver fluke is commonly found in more than 50 countries, especially where sheep or cattle are raised, as well as in developing countries and tropical locations, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Gary Flaherty, Columbia County Veterans Services director, said he will advise his clients who served in Vietnam to ask their doctors to test them for the parasite. Zachary Snyder, the veterans benefits representative for the Greene County Veteran Services Agency, said although he has not been contacted by anyone so far, he also advised anyone who thinks they may have contracted liver flukes to get tested. If a veteran is diagnosed with the parasite, Snyder urged them to call (518) 943-3703 for further assistance. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.