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Global Health
November 16, 2011

Parasitic Infections in Asia

JAMA. 2011;306(19):2082. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1644

Several neglected tropical diseases either remain widespread or have increased in prevalence in Central Asia in the last 2 decades, report researchers in the United States and Kazakhstan (Hotez PJ and Alibek K. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011;5[9]:e1224).

After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, human and veterinary public health infrastructure deteriorated in many areas of Central Asia, leading to breakdowns in health care and preventive services and a reemergence of several neglected tropical diseases that had been controlled during the Soviet era. The effects of these infections on child development and worker productivity are contributing to the burden of poverty among the 60 million people living in Central Asian countries, which include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.