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Top 5 Neglected Parasitic Infections in the U.S. — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
May 9, 2014

Top 5 Neglected Parasitic Infections in the U.S.

By Kelly Young

The CDC is taking aim at five neglected parasitic infections in the U.S. based on the number of people affected, illness severity, and the ability to prevent and treat the illnesses. The infections, which are reviewed in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, include:

  • Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi; more than 300,000 Americans are infected with T. cruzi.

  • cysticercosis, caused by the larval cysts of the tapeworm Taenia solium and responsible for 1000 hospitalizations annually.

  • toxocariasis, caused by Toxocara roundworms; an estimated 14% of people in the U.S. have been exposed to the parasites.

  • toxoplasmosis, caused by Toxoplasma gondii, which are chronically infecting 60 million Americans.

  • trichomoniasis, caused by Trichomonas vaginalis; some 3.7 million people in this country may have this sexually transmitted infection.

CDC editorialists write that immediate interventions to prevent infections include deworming dogs and cats, picking up pet feces immediately, covering sandboxes to lower the risk for contamination with animal feces, and cooking meat thoroughly. The articles also cover clinical manifestations.

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