Mon, 5 September 2016
Dr. Peter Hotez is one of the world's leading experts on so-called Neglected Tropical Diseases. These are a set of diseases, often times parasitic, that have historically afflicted the absolute poorest people on the planet. Some of these diseases are better known, like hookworm or leprosy, and now Zika. But most are virtually unknown outside the medical community, and I suspect many doctors as well, have probably never heard of many of them.
That may soon change, thanks in part to the work of Dr. Peter Hotez. He is the founding dean of the first national school of tropical medicine in the United States, which is located at the Baylor College of medicine in Houston.
Dr. Hotez is out with a new book called Blue Marble Health that offers evidence to support a provocative thesis that most of the global burden of these neglected tropical diseases can actually be found in the world's wealthiest countries, including the United States. It is poverty among wealth that enables these diseases to fester. And we kick off discussing this theory, before learning how a mild mannered researcher from the great state of Connecticut ends up becoming obsessed with hookworms.
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