“If these were diseases among middle-class whites in the suburbs, we would not tolerate them. They are among America’s greatest health disparities, and they are largely unknown to the U.S. medical and health communities.”
– Peter Hotez, a microbiologist at George Washington University, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Sabin Vaccine Institute and co-founder of the institute’s Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease Control, referring to the handful of diseases that inflict people living in the American South, Appalachia and along the Mexican-American border. The diseases include: Chagas, a leading cause of heart failure and stroke among Latinos; cysticercosis, which causes convulsions; and ascariasis, which causes abdominal pain and fever. They are spread from insects and parasites.