Relation of Hookworm Burden to Physical Status in Georgia

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The development of economical and effective anti-hookworm procedures requires reasonably precise knowledge, not only of the incidence and intensity of infection, the personal habits of the people and the environmental conditions under which they live, but of their physical status as well. The program now in effect in Georgia emphasizes the hookworm-diseased family rather than the egg-positive individual as the unit of investigation and control. In practice, the selection of these hookworm-diseased families is made by local health or school personnel and is based, first of all, on physical evidence of anemia. As most of the secondary anemias in Georgia are due to or are augmented by dietary iron deficiencies, malaria or hookworm infection, the next step is to determine which of these factors or combination of them is responsible and to proceed with appropriate curative and preventive measures. In evaluating the rôle of hookworms, some quantitative approximation of the worm burden at which their anemia-producing effect becomes apparent is necessary for the guidance of local health agencies.