After experiencing flu-like symptoms Mr Bass was treated with intravenous antibiotics. Following periods in hospital and at the MoD’s Headley Court rehabilitation centre in Surrey, he was diagnosed with Q fever chronic fatigue syndrome.
“On some days I’m OK, I can walk a few hundred metres,” he said.
“But often I get breathless, have aches and pains all over my body for which I have to take very powerful painkillers.
“The nerve pain in my lower back and legs means that my back can lock up and I’m immobile.”
Justin Glenister of Hilary Meredith Solicitors, representing Mr Bass, 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 five-day trial, which started on Monday at the Central London County Court, 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.
The MOD follows the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which does not recommend vaccination for Q fever.