The full text of the statement provided by Fort Benning regarding the Dez Del Barba medical case of necrotizing fasciitis can be read below:
“Our mission is to train Soldiers and develop leaders in a very high risk and close quarters environment. The safety and care of our Soldiers and personnel at Fort Benning is our utmost concern. Sometimes the environment or high risk training results in illness, injury, or sadly, even death.
Once the issue related to strep was identified, the leadership at Fort Benning immediately worked with the Army Public Health Center in response to health and readiness concerns among our trainee and cadre population. In an effort to ensure the health and readiness of the force, Fort Benning spent $1.7 million on antibiotics to treat and prevent further cases in a population of nearly 10,000 Soldiers within the Initial Entry Training environment. The initial results of Fort Benning’s efforts have been positive, and all new trainees arriving to the installation are receiving preventative medicine to eradicate future strep cases. Fort Benning leadership is in regular contact with the Army Public Health Center, which reviews health incidents involving all trainees. The efforts thus far have vastly reduced any concern for future cases of strep. We take these unfortunate incidents very seriously, and actively review our training regulations and procedures to prevent other serious incidents from occurring in the future.
Tragically, in January we also suffered the untimely death of a Soldier and we grieve this loss of life together with the family and Soldiers who knew him. The cause of his death is currently under investigation and attributing his death to strep would be premature.
We also take medical privacy seriously and are unable to provide any individual’s medical treatment or condition due to HIPAA and Privacy Laws.”
Ben Garrett, Ft Benning spokesman
Chief of Public Affairs