Friday, September 15, 2017

Hookworm? It's back in the U.S.!

I recently ran across a story on the surprise incidence of hookworm in Alabama. Hookworm was thought to be wiped out in the U.S., but a recent study found 19 out of 55 individuals in a small community tested positive for hookworm.  

"Hookworm was rampant in the U.S. more than 100 years ago. It thrived in the poor south, where many families could not afford proper outhouses and sewer systems were rare.
Thanks to widespread treatment efforts, education and economic development, the parasitic worm was eradicated in the U.S. although the exact date isn't clear — somewhere between the 1950s and the 1980s. Hookworm was now just a problem of the developing world — or so we thought."
Here is a little more on the history of hookworm in the U.S. South and how that disease might have influenced how Southerners were thought of. You can read more from NOVA Next. 

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