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Pediatric Medicaid Visits for Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections in the Black Belt Region—Alabama, 2010–2018

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  • 1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;
  • | 2 Alabama Department of Public Health, Montgomery, Alabama;
  • | 3 Epidemic Intelligence Service, Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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ABSTRACT.

Areas of rural Alabama may be at risk for re-emergence of soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) where environmental conditions are favorable for STH transmission, including in the agricultural Black Belt region. We describe pediatric Medicaid STH visits in Alabama and compare STH visit rates in Black Belt counties with those of non-Black Belt counties. Alabama Medicaid visit claims among children aged 0–18 years who received an STH diagnosis during January 2010–December 2018 were examined. STH-related pediatric visits were uncommon, but several counties with higher STH rates were identified. Visit rates did not differ meaningfully when comparing Black Belt with non-Black Belt region counties (rate ratio: 1.10; 95% CI: 0.73–1.64). Additional studies examining STH prevalence among children living in communities at risk for STH in Alabama can further clarify STH burden and identify communities experiencing environmental and sanitation conditions favorable to STH endemicity.

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Author Notes

Address correspondence to Sherri L. Davidson, State Epidemiologist, Alabama Department of Public Health, 201 Monroe St., Montgomery, AL 36104. E-mail: sherri.davidson@adph.state.al.us

Disclaimers: The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the institutions with which the authors are affiliated.

Authors’ addresses: Guillermo V. Sanchez, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, Alabama Department of Public Health, Montgomery, AL, and Epidemic Intelligence Service, Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: xkv4@cdc.gov. Anna J. Blackstock, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: hyp9@cdc.gov . Sherri L. Davidson, Alabama Department of Public Health, Montgomery, AL, E-mail: sherri.davidson@adph.state.al.us.

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