Neglected Diseases Down South

Intensive interventions and clean water programs have stamped out guinea worm disease in countries like Nigeria and Kenya. Now that same playbook is being used to tackle neglected diseases in American South that fuel the cycle of poverty. Hookworm, which can cause developmental delays without showing any symptoms, was found in a third of 55 people tested in Lowndes County, Alabama.

A hookworm vaccine developed by Peter Hotez, a neglected tropical disease specialist, has reached clinical trials. But researchers have been struck by the lack of interest in funding a vaccine for the South’s rural poor: “It’s much harder to get people to care,” says Hotez.

Southerly Magazine

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