Just before the Dec 2017 Podcast got cut off ,Dr Bash was being to speak about this important issue.
The VVA mentioned picking up something about this rare disease from a radio show- maybe our show ,but only a few minutes of the show are accessible.
The disease it can cause is cholangiocarcinoma, appearing many years after , usually after 50 years of age.
I read a 2010 remand to a widow whose husband ( Vietnam vet) died from this condition. She might well still be on the hamster wheel and if she can prove her husband did eat raw fish in Vietnam, she would have a good way to attain DIC.
This other widow (who did the leg work needed to prove her case), did succeed:
She raised three separate theorys of entitlement:
“Although the service records do not directly document exposure to river liver flukes, the Board finds that a reasonable inference can be drawn that the Veteran consumed local raw or uncooked fish at some point during one year tour of duty in Vietnam. Resolving reasonable doubt in favor of the Veteran, the Board finds that the Veteran is deemed to have been likely exposed to the liver fluke parasite while serving in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam Era.
Resolving additional reasonable doubt in favor of the Veteran, the Board finds that the Veteran’s death due to cholangiocarcinoma in October 2003 is deemed attributable to exposure to the liver fluke parasite. Given the foregoing, the elements for the grant of service connection for the cause of the Veteran’s death have been met. Accordingly, the claim is granted.
As provided for by the Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000 (VCAA), VA has a duty to notify and assist claimants in substantiating a claim for VA benefits. 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 5100, 5102, 5103, 5103A, 5107, 5126; 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.156(a), 3.159 and 3.326(a). In this case, the Board is granting in full the benefits sought on appeal. Accordingly, assuming, without deciding, that any error was committed with respect to either the duty to notify or the duty to assist, such error was harmless and will not be further discussed.
The claim of entitlement to service connection for the cause of the Veteran’s death is reopened and granted on the merits.
Many Vietnam vets found themselves in the bush for days with no food supply at all.
My husband said he and a few other Marines ate lizards.
It is highly likely that many Vietnam vets caught and ate fish, that as the vet in the article from the Chicago Tribune states.
“The appellant seeks service connection for the cause of the Veteran’s death – cholangiocarcinoma. She raises several service connection theories. One theory raised is that the Veteran, while serving in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War, ingested a food-borne parasite known to be endemic in Southeast Asia. According to several medical journal abstracts, infection by liver flukes cause chronic inflammation which is known over time to damage the cells of the bile duct of the liver and to cause the development of cancer.
A second theory is that the Veteran’s episode of infectious hepatitis during active service was actually a hepatitis C infection, which is also known as a risk factor for cholangiocarcinoma.
A third theory is that the Veteran’s cholangiocarcinoma is related to his Agent Orange exposure in service (the Veteran’s herbicide exposure being an underlying fact that legally may be presumed based on his service in the Republic of Vietnam, under 38 U.S.C.A. § 1116).”
There are more awards at the BVA regarding this issue-as well as awards for cholangiocarcinoma, based on the veteran’s SMRs.
This is a serious subject and, as Dr Bash said on the December 2017 podcast here, there have been awards at the BVA for this unusual and rare disease explained here and at many other good med sites: