Volume 6, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The fact that heavy helminthic infections unfavorably affect the health of the people is obvious to everyone. There is, however, a widespread belief that most of the light infections are of no consequence to the health and should be overlooked. Traveling in various tropical areas, one becomes aware of the fallacy of such reasoning. Anemia, edema, retardation of growth, severe malnutrition, chronic cough, dermatitis, potbelly, and ascites are very common in areas where helminthic infections are predominant. Furthermore, aside from the direct effect that helminthiases have on the health of the people in the tropics, they predispose, they complicate, and they retard the recovery from other conditions.

Even more important than the disease entities which helminths produce is the significance of their relation to the other diseases prevalent in the communities. This was first impressed upon the by Dr. Jacques May who, after spending many years as a surgeon in Southeast Asia, commented that response to surgery was often seriously handicapped by the presence of helminthic infections.


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