Former soldier sues MoD after contacting Q fever in Afghanistan

A former soldier is suing the Ministry of Defence (MoD) over its failure to protect him from contracting Q fever in Afghanistan.

Wayne Bass, a private from the 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment, said his life has been ruined after serving in Helmand Province in 2011 without being given antibiotics by the Army.

Humans can catch Q fever after breathing in dust from the faeces of infected farm animals such as sheep, cattle and goats.

The NHS says the bacterial infection is “usually harmless, but can cause serious problems in some people”.

It is the first case to test the MoD’s duty to protect against Q fever, said Hilary Meredith Solicitors, the firm acting for Mr Bass.

The five-day trial, starting at Central London County Court on Monday, will examine the extent of any duty owed by the Army to Mr Bass in relation to Q fever, and whether that duty was breached.

Justin Glenister, partner at Hilary Meredith Solicitors, said: “This is the first case in which the question will be asked whether the MoD had a duty to protect soldiers against this known risk of Q fever, which we say was a preventable risk, and what steps it ought to have taken to protect them.

“There are other similar cases being prepared.”

The MoD said it was inappropriate to comment while legal proceedings were ongoing.