Health & Science

Baylor Doctor’s New Book Is A Manifesto About Neglected Tropical Diseases

Blue Marble Health explains how even industrialized nations are economically harmed by parasites, worms and other debilitating “diseases of poverty.”

 

 

Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, just wrote "Blue Marble Health" about the world's neglected tropical diseases.
Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, just wrote “Blue Marble Health” about the world’s neglected tropical diseases.

Dr. Peter Hotez calls them “the most important diseases you’ve never heard of” – infectious diseases that operate in the shadows of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. They include intestinal worms, parasitic flukes, and bacteria that can stunt growth, lower IQ, and cause disability, unemployment and death.

Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, has found some of these diseases in south Texas, and even in Houston.

 T. canis larva.
T. canis larva.

“We’re finding quite a bit of toxocariasis, which is a parasitic worm infection, that is common in poor neighborhoods where you see a lot of stray dogs roaming around,” said Hotez.

Hotez recently discussed the burden of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) with News 88.7 Health and Science Reporter Carrie Feibel. He said the transmission of NTDs is rooted in poverty, environmental degradation, and lack of resources. But the NTDs also perpetuate poverty, and they are found throughout the world, even in the world’s richest industrialized countries, Hotez said.

To hear the conversation, listen to the audio link above.  

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Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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