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February 22, 1995

Doxycycline Treatment and Desert Storm-Reply

Author Affiliations

Harvard School of Public Health Boston, Mass

JAMA. 1995;273(8):619. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520320026027

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In Reply.  —The NIH Technology Assessment Workshop "The Persian Gulf Experience and Health" evaluated published scientific literature, progress of ongoing studies reported by the responsible investigators, and the testimony of afflicted veterans. The panel concluded that unexplained illness seemed real, was not definable as a single clinical entity with the information available, and most probably was not caused by a single agent but rather represented multiple overlapping etiologies. The suggestion by Drs Nicolson and Rosenberg-Nicolson of a mycoplasmal origin seems plausible for some of these illnesses but should be confirmed by rigorous clinical investigation. Of course, the customary principles of sound medical management require individual patient diagnosis before prescription of treatment, especially with drugs effective against other unrecognized microorganisms.

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