FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Indiana National Guard soldiers training at Fort Knox in Kentucky and Camp Atterbury in Indiana said the military is trying to cover up pinworm outbreaks at both camps. Military officials, however, said there are no confirmed cases, but said they are still looking into what the worms could be.
Indiana National Guard troops, many from northeast Indiana, arrived at the bases for annual training August 1.
“A week into the training, we heard rumors that Charlie troop got pinworms,” a soldier training at Fort Knox, who wanted to remain anonymous, told 15 Finds Out. “Then Alpha troop started getting it and training was affected. We eventually couldn’t train with them because more soldiers were coming down with it and they were putting them in quarantine.”
“I would like some answers as to why we aren’t going to be treated.” – Soldier training at Fort Knox
The soldier said they were instructed to check their stool and he said a few soldiers in his troop also noticed worms in their stool. Another soldier posted a picture of worms in his stool on Facebook.
“We were told that after we were done training, we’d all be quarantined and the gear would be stripped down and quarantined and treated and all the clothes would be washed and we’d remain in the barracks for the rest of training,” the soldier told NewsChannel 15.
But, that plan then changed two nights ago.
“They told us, ‘Okay, guys. No problem. We’re not going to put you in quarantine or anything. Come to find out, our soldiers have maggots and all you have to do is go to the bathroom twice and it should take care of it. You don’t need medicine or anything,'” he said. “It just seems like they’re holding information from us. I just can’t believe it wasn’t pinworms, it’s maggots, and they’re not doing anything about it.”
After NewsChannel 15’s story about Fort Knox aired Wednesday, an Indiana National Guard soldier training at Camp Atterbury called 15 Finds Out saying the same thing was happening there.
“One guy after another says, ‘There’s something in my stool. There’s something in my stool,'” the soldier, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said. “They were thin, white and small. Absolutely not normal.”
The media officer for Fort Knox, Patrick Hodges, told 15 Finds Out there have been no diagnoses of pinworms at the base. A spokesperson for Ireland Army Community Hospital said three stool samples were tested and all were negative for pinworms.
Hodges said there was fly larvae in one stool sample, but it was unclear if they got in the stool before or after it exited the soldier because soldiers will use the restroom in the woods during training. Fort Knox also posted the following statement on Facebook:
At this time there have been no confirmed cases of pinworm on the installation.
Diagnoses require microscopic examination, which was not performed initially in the field, and all samples presented to Ireland Army Community Hospital have been negative.
The “worms” found in the stool of the Soldiers in question have been identified by the IRACH lab as fly larvae, though the source was unknown.
This is a self-limiting condition that requires no actual treatment.
In a statement, the Indiana National Guard said they did take preventative measures to try to stop the worms from spreading.
“These measures included bringing in soldiers from their field training environment and into barracks where they could shower and adequately clean themselves and their equipment. Outside bathroom facilities, or port-a-johns, were disinfected and sanitized,” the statement said.
The soldier at Camp Atterbury said he doesn’t believe the negative test results for pinworms. He was one of the soldiers who had worms in his stool. He said he has paperwork from a hospital indicating it was pinworms, but said he wasn’t able to send a copy of that paperwork to NewsChannel 15.
“They’re just trying to cover their rear ends, no pun intended,” he said. “One by one, they started quarantining us and we were getting low on soldiers and we think they covered it up as fly larva so we can continue to train.”
He and the soldier at Fort Knox just want the military to tell the truth.
“I would like some answers as to why we aren’t going to be treated. Obviously if it’s maggots or pinworms or whatever it is, we contracted it, we got got it here at training, so the military should be responsible and it should be considered a line of duty injury,” the soldier at Fort Knox said.
In a statement the National Guard said it’s not done investigating the worms: “The safety and welfare of all Indiana National Guard service members is our highest priority and we will continue to closely monitor this situation and provide our Soldiers with the appropriate level of care both during their remaining time at training or after they return home if necessary.”