Skip to comments.Worms infect more poor Americans than thought
Posted on 12/25/2007 10:17:24 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Roundworms may infect close to a quarter of inner city black children, tapeworms are the leading cause of seizures among U.S. Hispanics and other parasitic diseases associated with poor countries are also affecting Americans, a U.S. expert said on Tuesday.
Recent studies show many of the poorest Americans living in the United States carry some of the same parasitic infections that affect the poor in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, said Dr. Peter Hotez, a tropical disease expert at George Washington University and editor-in-chief of the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Writing in the journal, Hotez said these parasitic infections had been ignored by most health experts in the United States.
"I feel strongly that this is such an important health issue and yet because it only affects the poor it has been ignored," Hotez said via e-mail.
He said the United States spent hundreds of millions of dollars to defend against bio-terrorism threats like anthrax or smallpox or avian flu, which were more a theoretical concern than a real threat at present.
"And yet we have a devastating parasitic disease burden among the American poor, right under our nose," Hotez said.
He noted a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, presented in November, found that almost 14 percent of the U.S. population is infected with Toxocara roundworms, which dogs and cats can pass to people.
"Urban playgrounds in the United States have recently been shown to be a particularly rich source of Toxocara eggs and inner-city children are at high risk of acquiring the infection," Hotez wrote, adding that this might be partly behind the rise in asthma cases in the country. Up to 23 percent of urban black children may be infected, he said.
"Because of its possible links to asthma, it would be important to determine whether covert toxocariasis is a basis for the rise of asthma among inner-city children in the northeastern United States," he added.
"Cysticercosis is another very serious parasitic worm infection ... caused by the tapeworm Taenia solium, that results in seizures and other neurological manifestations," Hotez wrote.
He said up to 2,000 new cases of neurological disease caused by tapeworms are diagnosed every year in the United States. More than 2 percent of adult Latinos may be infected, and with 35 million Hispanics in the United States, this could add up to tens of thousands of cases, Hotez said.
"In the hospitals of Los Angeles, California, neurocysticercosis currently accounts for 10 percent of all seizures presenting to some emergency departments," he wrote.
"We need to begin erasing these horrific health disparities," Hotez wrote in the paper, available online at www.plosntds.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pntd.0000149.
Bravo, bravo! Such fine prose. As I read the story I was pretty incredulous over the part about 'since it only affects the poor nobody cares'. As if when was the last time you saw a multi-million dollar study put forth to find a cure for gout or tennis elbow? You see any stories about big grants to cure the diseases of the rich? You even hear of a list of the diseases of the rich? How is it then that we always hear about the poor? Jesus said "The poor you have with you always", and I think the people seeking funding know it, too.
I've gotten these kind of worms before. They made me really sick too, and gave me amnesia.
The poor are NEVER a topic of conversation in this country....
Source? In case we’d like to get some of that stuff....
Don’t know whether I’ve ever had worms or not, but the very thought makes my skin crawl.
Actually, human inflammatory bowel disease can be TREATED with doses of pig whipworms:
“...drinking a concoction containing thousands of pig worm eggs could protect people against bowel disease.
“He came up with the idea after noticing that a rise in cases of IBD coincided with a drop in infections caused by roundworms and human whipworms.
“Weinstock also noted that IBD was rare in developing countries where parasitic infections were more common.
“When he tested it twice a month on 100 patients in the United States with IBD, which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, symptoms such as abdominal pain, bleeding and diarrhoea disappeared.
I got my last few doses at a pharmacy in Ciudad Acuna just across the border from Del Rio, Texas.
So how many poor Americans are infected with thought?
Women & minorities HARDEST HIT !!
I had a high school history teacher on Jeopardy a few years ago.
As far as I know she was worm free.
I swear that I can smell that picture. Never again...again.
Diversity is strength.
I have sometimes wondered if the are any type of worms or other parasites that can be in your body without making you aware of their presence.
.At least bring them out of the shadows.
No but it sounds like a great specialty to go into.
Heck that might only be a few thousand people man. Do the math heh.