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BYRON DORGAN, US SENATOR (ND-D): So the Pentagon is saying, well, no, Senator Dorgan and those that are disclosing this are inaccurate. Halliburton is saying it's inaccurate; the Pentagon is saying it's inaccurate; everthing's just fine. Here's what the inspector general said. Things aren't fine. The water was not treated as it was supposed to have been treated. Contaminated water was provided to the troops. Some troops got sick. In some cases, this water that was twice as contaminated as raw water from the Euphrates River was flowing as non-potable water to these military bases. When we got the information from the Halliburton corporation whistleblowers, Halliburton denied it, and so too did America's military. Now we know that the inspector general says, no, no, that's exactly what was happening. Exactly what was happening is this corporation's being paid to provide good-quality, disinfected water to the troops, and the fact is they weren't doing the job.
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What is Acinetobacter baumannii?: A gram negative bacteria instrinsically resistant to many antibiotics.
Where is it found in the environment? : In water and soil. The bacteria can survive for several days on many surfaces, including those difficult to control such as cell phones and keyboards.
Who gets it?: Generally speaking, only people who have weakened immune systems are at risk. The disease is generally presented as a nosocomial infection only, meaning it affects patients in hospitals. At least 240 US military personnel have had infections from the A. baumannii bacteria since the Iraq war began in 2003. [b/]A. baumanni was also seen among soldiers during the Vietnam war.
The disease accounts for only 1.3 per cent of all bloodstream infections in hospitals in the US, but the disease is on the increase in military healthcare facilities where personnel coming from Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan are being treated.