One Good Deal After Another (continued)
Malaria ... Another Good Deal
Another, even stranger event occurred about this time. I have forgotten the date. In any event, our beloved Navy Corpsmen were the only people who always knew what day it was. That’s because it was their duty, every Sunday, to go around popping an anti-malaria pill in every Marine’s mouth. Without exception.
A mystery arose when we began developing malaria patients who, of course, were medically evacuated to the rear. Their return was doubtful. One of the things we could not afford was a continuing loss of Marines to malaria, especially since they were taking a pill that was supposed to prevent the loss.
It did not take long for higher headquarters to notice the situation. We received a scathing message telling us to start complying with regulations by taking the Sunday malaria pill. We replied with our own semi-scathing message stating that we were taking the Sunday pill.
To our surprise, a toned down message arrived in return. We had been issued the wrong anti-malaria pill. The ones we had been issued protected people on the coastal plain. We needed a pill for people on the high ground. That’s the kind of thing that happens to “Nomads.”
Everyone who spent time in the jungle got bitten by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Preventing the disease meant treating it after bites had occurred with a weekly pill to eliminate the parasites. Photo courtesy of vietnamnews.vn.