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Fumes and faeces in Kabul
  1. Natalie Taylor1 and
  2. D Ross2
  1. 1 Research and Clinical Innovation, Royal Centre of Defence Medicine, Birmingham, United Kingdom
  2. 2 Health Unit, RAMC, Camberley, UK
  1. Correspondence to Natalie Taylor, British Army Axminster, Axminster EX13 7BD, UK; nat.taylor4{at}


Soldiers deploy worldwide, often in hostile and remote locations. Considerable effort is made to ensure British soldiers deploy to locations with the correct force health protection, such as vaccinations and antimalarial chemoprophylaxis. British soldiers are currently serving, among other places, in Kabul, Afghanistan. The poor air quality in this area is something that cannot be easily mitigated, other than advising to minimise time spent outdoors. This article reviews the data from a self-reported questionnaire about the respiratory symptoms soldiers experienced while serving in Kabul. It appears that during their deployment up to 90% of soldiers experienced nasal congestion, among other things. A detailed air quality study in the capital of Afghanistan may help us to better understand the reported symptoms and, if attributed to the air quality, to help provide better advice to those soldiers in the future.

  • health policy
  • public health
  • preventive medicine
  • primary care
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  • Contributors All authors contributed equally.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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