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Bed bug attack puts Swiss soldiers in 'quarantine'

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Bed bug attack puts Swiss soldiers in 'quarantine'
File photo: Jewel Samad/AFP
11:26 CEST+02:00
The army has ‘quarantined’ 140 soldiers after a barracks became infested with a particularly resilient type of bed bug.

The fleas were discovered at the barracks in La Lecherette in the canton of Vaud on June 23rd, reported 24 Heures.

After the place – along with another barracks – was disinfected, the young army recruits thought the matter was over.

But the bed bugs proved stubborn, and on July 1st the soldiers were told they were leaving for Martigny, one soldier told 24 Heures.

Since then, the soldiers have been confined to an empty concrete building in the Valais city, sleeping on the hard floor in sleeping bags.

“A major told us, when we arrived, that we have to remain here because of the bed bugs,” said the recruit.

“We’re not allowed any physical contact with the outside world during the disinfection. But we don’t know how long that will take!

“No one has said the word ‘quarantine’ but that’s clearly what’s happening here,” he added.

With only a hose as a shower (no soap) and few clothes at their disposal, it seems life isn’t too sweet.

“140 soldiers in the same room for a week and only two pairs of socks [each], you can imagine,” said the soldier.

The recruits have been examined by a doctor and five were even sent to hospital for severe bites, said the paper.

To pass the time, the soldiers are being taught self-defence and interview skills.'

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