Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

Skip subpage navigation

Biological Warfare Investigation: Feb. 13, 2001

Case Narrative Close-Out Reports are summaries of discontinued investigations into possible exposures of U.S. servicemembers to chemical or biological warfare agents during the Gulf War. The Office of the Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses, Medical Readiness, and Military deployments began this investigation of biological warfare agents in response to concerns Iraq may have used biological warfare agents against Coalition forces and agents may be a cause of unexplained illnesses seen in Gulf War veterans.

The Presidential Special Oversight Board requested that we provide a summary of this investigation, which we did at a public hearing on Sept.16, 1999. Based on that summary, the Board concluded that information obtained to date in this investigation, the emerging results, and the anticipated outcomes from continued investigation are not likely to improve our understanding of any unexplained illnesses. Consequently, the Presidential Special Oversight Board recommended terminating further investigation. In addition, to bring the investigation to closure, the Board requested that we complete a close-out report to present the data, documentary evidence, and findings compiled during the course of the investigation.

The initial close-out report published Oct. 26, 2000, complied with the Board's recommendation. Since that time we have received approval to reference additional documentation and this report adds footnotes to link that material not cleared for release at the time of original publication. However, we were aware of the newly footnoted information during the investigation and we considered it when developing the findings and conclusions, which have not changed in this report. If you believe you have additional information related to biological warfare during the Gulf War, please contact my office by calling: 1-800-497-6261


I. Overview

Read the Overview


II. Investigation

A. Methodology


B. Iraq's Biological Threat


C. Post-War Findings


D. U.S. Biological Warfare Defense


E. Gulf War Biological Warfare Medical Preparedness


F. Detecting, Evaluating, and Reporting Biological Agents


G. Desert Shield and Desert Storm Biological Warfare Agent Detection Capabilities


H. Biological Sampling


III. Significant Findings

A. General


B. Lessons Learned


IV. Discussion

Read the Discussion


Tab A. Acronyms, Abbreviations and Glossary

Acronyms & Abbreviations




Tab B. Bibliography

See the Bibliography


Tab C. Anthrax



Signs and Symptoms


Desert Shield and Desert Storm Anthrax Prophylaxis


Anthrax Vaccine Efficacy


Tab D. Botulism



Signs and Symptoms


Desert Shield/Desert Storm Botulinum Toxin Prophylaxis


Tab E. Trichothecene Mycotoxin (T-2)



Signs and Symptoms


Prophylaxis and Treatment


Tab F. Aflatoxin



Tab G. Plague



Signs and Symptoms


Tab H. List of New Information

Version 1.1


End Notes

View the End Notes

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery