Illnesses VA Recognizes as Associated with Gulf War Service

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VA presumes that specific disabilities diagnosed in certain Veterans were caused by their military service. Gulf War Veterans with the illnesses shown below may be eligible for health care and disability compensation.
Medically Unexplained Clusters of Symptoms
For Gulf War Veterans, VA has recognized certain unexplained clusters of symptoms existing for six months or more as associated military service in the Gulf.  The illnesses must have appeared during active duty in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations or by December 31, 2011, and be at least 10 percent disabling.
Illnesses include medically unexplained clusters of symptoms that have existed for six months or more, such as:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Any diagnosed or undiagnosed illness that VA’s Secretary determines should be presumed to be associated with Gulf War service
  • Signs or symptoms of an undiagnosed illness may include:
  • Abnormal weight loss
  • Cardiovascular signs or symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal signs or symptoms
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Muscle pain
  • Neurologic signs or symptoms
  • Neuropsychological signs or symptoms
  • Signs or symptoms involving the skin
  • Signs or symptoms involving the upper and lower respiratory system
  • Sleep disturbances

Infectious Diseases
VA recognizes the following infectious diseases as related to military service in Southwest Asia during the first Gulf War starting August 2, 1990, through the conflict in Iraq and on or after September 19, 2001, in Afghanistan:

  • Brucellosis
  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Coxiella burnetii (Q fever)
  • Malaria
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Nontyphoid Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • Visceral leishmaniasis
  • West Nile virus

Veterans must have the diseases within a certain time after service and have a current disability as a result of that disease in order to receive health care and disability compensation for the diseases. Learn more about infectious disease time limits and symptoms.