Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Worms Infect More Poor Americans Than Thought
"Because of its possible links to asthma, it would be important to determine whether covert toxocariasis is a basis for the rise of asthma among inner-city children in the northeastern United States," he added.
"Cysticercosis is another very serious parasitic worm infection ... caused by the tapeworm Taenia solium, that results in seizures and other neurological manifestations," Hotez wrote.
He said up to 2,000 new cases of neurological disease caused by tapeworms are diagnosed every year in the United States. More than 2 percent of adult Latinos may be infected, and with 35 million Hispanics in the United States, this could add up to tens of thousands of cases, Hotez said.
"In the hospitals of Los Angeles, California, neurocysticercosis currently accounts for 10 percent of all seizures presenting to some emergency departments," he wrote.
"We need to begin erasing these horrific health disparities," Hotez wrote in the paper, available online.