Worms, parasites afflict the poorest in U.S.

June 24, 2008, a Reuters report states: “Worms, parasites afflict the poorest in U.S. – ‘Diseases of neglect’ stem from lack of care, poor sanitation.

Dr. Peter Hotez of George Washington University and the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington reports that diseases caused by worms and parasites are draining the health and energy of the poorest Americans.

“The message is a little tough because they are not killer diseases — they impact on child development, intellectual development, hearing and sometimes even heart disease,” Hotez said in a telephone interview.

He said the diseases help to keep people mired in poverty, as infections may last years, decades or even lifetimes.

“Throughout the American South during the early twentieth century, malaria combined with hookworm infection and pellagra (a vitamin deficiency) to produce a generation of anemic, weak, and unproductive children and adults,” Hotez wrote.

Do we want that again? Who says we don’t need universal healthcare? Are we a third world country?

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