The Viability of Hookworm Eggs and Larvae in Pit Latrines

G. Dikmans Experiment Station, United States Department of Agriculture, Mayaguez, Porto Rico

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The safe disposal of human excreta is the all-important sanitary problem in hookworm-infested countries, for it is obvious that if the source of infection is eliminated, the infection is bound to disappear in time.

In order to accomplish this end our Insular Department of Health, the International Health Board coöperating, is advising the construction and use of latrines. These latrines are of the pit type and they must conform to certain requirements established by the Department. The amount of work that has been done in Porto Rico in this direction is briefly summarized by Hill (3).

In this work a question has arisen, which was stated by Cort as follows:

A very practical question in this connection is whether the eggs (hookworm eggs) remain viable for any considerable time and especially whether they can hatch and the larvae develop under conditions found in various types of latrines.

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