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More Discouragement...Hookworm Rampant In Poor Areas of the USA?

+3 votes
Sep 19, 2017 in Health by Virginia (7,565 points)
edited Sep 20, 2017 by Virginia

THE GUARDIAN has a recent article, and a pilot study indicates that hookworm may be rampant in the USA again. Hookworm is a parasite that thrives with extreme poverty around raw sewage in the Third World; it was believed eradicated in the USA decades ago.

I myself have assumed hookworm was never found in the USA now.

Hookworm typically enters through the soles of bare feet, and travels around the body until it attaches itself to the small intestine where it proceeds to suck the blood of its host. It makes you tired and thin, and causes impaired mental function. It was largely responsible for the American stereotype of the lazy, stupid and lethargic southern white trash, as well as African Americans.

The study, the first of its kind in modern times, was carried out in rural Alabama by Baylor College of Medicine. The next step is to check out their estimate that as many as 12 million Americans could be infected.

So here we are...the richest nation on Earth...unless you are among the growing multitudes of the poor....good for The Guardian, I am impressed by them more and more!

3 Answers

TheOtherTink Sep 20, 2017

And hookworms are so easily treatableOnly a few days of medication.

Virginia TheOtherTink Sep 20, 2017

Yes, very one should have to endure that now...

Marianne Sep 20, 2017
Virginia Marianne Sep 20, 2017

Marianne, it was very interesting looking through the links you posted; I could open all of them except the mental floss. I knew that black plague was in North America, but did not realize it was so common here. The article mentions pinyon pines and juniper support rodent populations that carry the fleas, and those are two of the most beautiful trees. I have known people who had rickets, and one friend now is fighting gout with diet...VERY painful for her!

Your articles also illustrate that some of the resurgent diseases are in Europe, as well as North America. 

However, one very tragic point I was making with the hookworm is that, here in the wealthiest nation in the world, there is enough extreme poverty of third-world proportions to make hookworm infestations possible again...basically raw sewage, and people walking across the fecal material in bare feet.

Marianne Marianne Sep 20, 2017
Virginia Marianne Sep 20, 2017

Marianne, I especially appreciated the article from THE GUARDIAN. I think it was you, or maybe O'Tink also, where I began to see what good reporting they do!

Anyway, the 'open defecation' problem around the world; that is doubtless more hazardous as the population increases. When we were running over the African savannas 200,000 years ago, there were not that many of us, and so the land could absorb the fecal material...not so now!

Marianne Marianne Sep 20, 2017

Yes, Virginia, and that is not all, the human kind is also one of the most wasteful and destructive species.


Rooster Sep 20, 2017

Geez! I never realized this. From what I read about hookworm? It sounds horrible. I guess scarlet fever and whooping cough have reappeared also. I'm having a hard time believing this after all the shots we had as a kid. Even tuberculosis cases have been on the rise along with diphtheria also.

Have we gone that far downhill?

Virginia Rooster Sep 20, 2017

Rooster, at first I was just concerned about the wealth distribution in the USA; so many people in extreme poverty here now. 

However Marianne's links also point out that people are becoming afraid to vaccinate, because of the association with autism. Even though the connection was ultimately disproved, the idea first came out in the prestigious medical journal LANCET, and now the idea has taken hold.

SO heartbreaking, yes!

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