In accordance with PL 105-277 and PL 105-368, IOM appointed the Committee on Gulf War and Health: Infectious Diseases and tasked it to review, evaluate, and summarize the peer-reviewed scientific and medical literature on long-term adverse health outcomes associated with selected infectious diseases pertinent to service in the Gulf War. The infectious diseases can include, but are not limited to, pathogenic Escherichia coli infection, shigellosis, leishmaniasis, and sand fly fever.

VA is also concerned about potential long-term adverse health outcomes of infectious diseases in veterans of OEF and OIF. As of October 2005, about 1.2 million US troops have been deployed to OEF or OIF (see Figure 1.2). VA asked IOM to evaluate infectious diseases pertinent to service in OEF and OIF.

It should be noted that the charge to IOM was not to determine whether a unique Gulf War syndrome or Gulf War illness exists or to make judgments about whether individual veterans were exposed to specific pathogens. Nor was the charge to focus on broader issues, such as the potential costs of compensation for veterans or policy regarding compensation; such decisions are the responsibility of the secretary of veterans affairs.

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