[Alert] Deadly Parasite Killing Vietnam Vets
When Gerry Wiggins left Vietnam in 1969, he thought he’d escaped the war with his life.
Now, he’s not so sure.
Thousands of Vietnam vets like Gerry spent years dodging bullets in the Southeast Asian jungles.
But they came home with a parasite that can lurk in your body undetected for decades.
Now, this parasite is killing our Vietnam vets… and many don’t know they have it until it’s too late.
If you or a loved one served in Vietnam, this is an urgent warning you need to hear.
Liver flukes are a type of parasite you can get from raw and undercooked fish… like the kind many Vietnam vets ate when their rations ran low.
Or from the river water that many vets swallowed while crossing bodies of water on patrol in Vietnam.
But, unlike many parasites, flukes can cause a rare bile duct cancer and it can take years before symptoms finally arise.
By the time many people have any idea they’ve been infected, they are left with horrendous pain and just a few months to live.
Earlier this year, the Department of Veterans Affairs commissioned a pilot study in order to analyze the connection between liver flukes and cancer.
They gathered blood samples from 50 Vietnam veterans and were shocked to find that more than 20 percent of those samples came back positive for liver fluke antibodies. This means that more than 10 in every 50 Vietnam veterans has likely been living with this parasite for decades.
And Gerry was one of those veterans.
“I was in a state of shock,” he said of receiving this news. “I didn’t think it would be me.”
Further testing revealed that it was worse than Gerry could’ve imagined: he already had two cysts on his bile duct ready to develop into a rare cancer called cholangiocarcinoma.
Thanks to the study, those cysts were found and removed and Gerry is now in good health!
However, Mike Baughman, another Vietnam vet, has not been so lucky.
Mike has bile duct cancer and his doctor asserts that it probably all started when Mike’s unit was forced to eat uncooked fish after they ran out of rations deep in the Vietnam jungle.
And Mike wants to be sure that other vets finally hear about liver flukes.
“If you look at the bigger picture with all these other veterans, they don’t know what necessarily to do,” he explains. “None of them have even heard of it before. A lot of them give me that blank stare like, ‘You’ve got what?'”
Luckily, more and more veterans are getting tested for infections, which could be a life-saving decision.
If you or someone you loved served in Vietnam, immediately contact your doctor to check your blood for liver flukes.
These parasites can be killed during their early stages but if they’ve lived long enough without treatment, swelling and inflammation of the bile duct can lead to cancer. But the only way to save yourself is to seek help ASAP.