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Leonard D. Ott
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Posted at 07:29 PM on Friday, March 19, 2010 by post2667WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki today [Thursday] announced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking steps to make it easier for Veterans to obtain disability compensation for certain diseases associated with service in the Persian Gulf War or Afghanistan. This will be the beginning of historic change for how VA considers Gulf War Veterans' illnesses.
Following recommendations made by VA's Gulf War Veterans Illnesses Task Force, VA is publishing a proposed regulation in the Federal Register that will establish new presumptions of service connection for nine specific infectious diseases associated with military service in Southwest Asia during the Persian Gulf War, or in Afghanistan on or after September 19, 2001.
"We recognize the frustrations that many Gulf War and Afghanistan Veterans and their families experience on a daily basis as they look for answers to health questions, and seek benefits from VA," said Secretary Shinseki.
The proposed rule includes information about the long-term health effects potentially associated with the nine diseases: Brucellosis, Campylobacter jejuni, Coxiella burnetii (Q fever), malaria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Nontyphoid Salmonella, Shigella, Visceral leishmaniasis and West Nile virus.