The Injector

In March of 1958, the jet injector was introduced, the only downside being that slight bleeding might occur at the vaccination site. At that time, the jet injector was touted as a medical breakthrough with no sterilization necessary. *

But what happens when a sneaky blood borne pathogen like hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and HIV hide inside a vaccine vial, air compressor, or jet gun nozzle? These are new virus', ones seeking novel ways to reproduce. The virus' replicate, doing what they should, being the best they can be, as they infect one service person after the other. The injector used is dirty, tainted with blood and other bodily fluids like sweat, a perfect vector for novel virus' to grow.

Remember, there is no need to sterilize. 

The virus that affected my family is hepatitis C. Hep C, in its initial stages is often mild. The victim may experience a fever, perhaps some dark urine, a little abdominal pain, and some minor yellowing of the skin. Many with strong immune systems are able to fight the virus off and the pathogen disappears-- others go on, not thinking that in 20 or 30 years the minor viral infection they experienced would rise up to claim their lives. 

The U.S. Government has known about the problem with jet injectors since 1958 and it is time they step up and take responsibility or by the time they do most of our Vietnam Vets will have died. I have already buried one family member and soon will bury another, both thanks to this preventable disease.

The Department of Veterans Affairs states, "One in 10 US Veterans are infected with HCV, that is 5 times higher than the national average. Another study conducted in 1999 showed that 10-20% of all veterans in the VHA system tested positive for hepatitis C. 62.7 percent of those who reported serving were in Vietnam. In 2012, the DOD began testing our current service members so the figures for HCV, HBV, HIV and the War on Terror are not accurate and will go up.

Hepatitis C is a silent killer

By the time anyone knows they have it, their health is compromised. Even now, 50,000 plus service men and women are walking around with the disease and they do not know they are infected. It is a fact, that the longer people live with hepatitis C the more dangerous the virus becomes.  

The damage from hepatitis C isn't pretty. My family members have experienced bleeding varices, where the blood vessels in the esophagus rupture, or even a type of dementia that happens when the liver begins to die. Blood ammonia levels rise and do brain damage. People in this stage have to take drugs to detoxify the body while they wait for a liver transplant. Broken blood vessels appear on the face and abdomen. Stomach pain, swelling, fever, and a general feeling of malaise take over leaving the victim incapacitated. 

Even with new medications the cure is not 100% in all cases. There are different types of hepatitis C and they all respond differently. Currently, there are 5 genotypes and you can be infected with more than one type. 1 is the most common, 1,2,and 3 are found world wide with type 4 in North Africa and 5 in South Africa. 

Jet Injectors were discontinued for mass vaccinations in 2004 due to possible health risks stating that in some cases, jet injectors can bring blood or other body fluids to the surface of the skin contaminating the injector thereby creating the possibility that viruses can be transmitted to another person being vaccinated with the same device. *

What else needs to be said? 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

 *A special thank you to jet infectors dot com and Shaun Brown for his tireless dedication to uncover the mystery of his father's death, #military involvement, and hepatitis C.

Another thank you to the Mayo Clinic who explained in detail why jet injectors have been discontinued.  #hepatitisC #vietnamvet