Jet Injectors = Jet Infectors
Edited: December 17, 2017
To conclude this series, Darlow was seeking epidemiological cases of viral hepatitis as a means of assessing whether jet injectors actually transmitted blood-borne viruses. Due to extenuating circumstances that are unique to the hepatitis C virus a lack of epidemiological cases would be expected during Darlow’s time. For instance, hepatitis C was unknown. During the 1970s researchers speculated another strain of hepatitis existed and referred to it as non-A, non-B hepatitis, but otherwise hepatitis C would not be identified until 1989.
Second, during the onset of infection hepatitis C is most often asymptomatic, meaning there are no observable signs or symptoms. Those infected that do experience symptoms of decreased appetite, fatigue, nausea, muscle or joint pains, and weight loss would not think to attribute these general symptoms to the unknown and unidentified hepatitis C virus.
Third, within a military population, where soldiers were subjugated to rigorous exercise and harsh conditions, symptoms would have been, and in fact were, misdiagnosed or unreported. Soldiers were told to “toughen-up” rather than seeking an infirmary. Therefore military medical records are most often negative for any signs or symptoms of hepatitis C.
Research has shown chronic hepatitis C can remain asymptomatic for ten- to twenty-years later. Fast forwarding ten- to twenty-years and what do we observe amongst our now veteran population? Numerous diagnoses of hepatitis C, non-A, non-B hepatitis, and hepatic abnormalities. The epidemiological cases that Darlow sought have now emerged.
Fast forward another twenty-years and the VA has recognized in over 140 claims that a jet injector was a probable source of a veterans Hepatitis C infection. See the article – Military Jet Gun Injections Transmitted Hepatitis: an assessment of VA claims.
Unequivocally, jet injectors widely-used within the United States armed forces transmitted hepatitis C.
The proof of the pudding is, in fact, in the eating.
This article was originally published on January 23, 2016 and can be viewed here.