KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Nineteen members of International Security Assistance Force have been diagnosed with malaria while serving in Afghanistan this year, according to the ISAF Joint Command.

The IJC press office released data on the cases last month in response to inquiries about a member of the Vilseck, Germany-based 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment who contracted the disease.

The soldier was diagnosed with malaria recently while on midtour leave in Colorado, according to 2nd SCR spokesman Maj. Rob Hoover.

“It is a very treatable form of malaria and this matter is being investigated,” he said, adding that everyone in the regiment was issued malaria pills before deployment.

The northeast is a higher-risk area for malaria, which is most commonly contracted there between April and November, the IJC press office said in an e-mail. The 2nd SCR is based in southwest Afghanistan.

ISAF personnel are advised to wear long-sleeved clothing, apply insect repellent, sleep under mosquito nets, use anti-mosquito sprays or insecticide and take medication such as mefloquine (lariam) or doxycyclin, according to IJC.

“Use of mefloquine is … (not recommended for) patients with a known hypersensitivity to mefloquine,” the e-mail stated, noting adverse effects such as vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue.

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.

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