Peter HotezNovember 19, 2012 07:18
Diplomatic strain creates obstacles to partnerships in developing new vaccines
A homeless man named Bob waits for donations from passing motorists on October 11, 2012 in Camden, New Jersey. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Camden, New Jersey is now the most impoverished city in the United States with nearly 32,000 of Camden's residents living below the poverty line. (Spencer Platt/AFP/Getty Images)
HOUSTON -- Profound poverty promotes both conflict and disease. Today, an estimated 200 million people living in the Middle East and neighboring Pakistan – one third of the total population of these areas -- survive on less than $2 per day.
It may come as a surprise to many that almost 4 million Americans live at a similar level of poverty. New evidence indicates that the extremely poor people in the United States and the Middle East and Pakistan suffer from some of the same neglected tropical diseases. These include murine typhus which is transmitted by flees from rats; brucellosis, caused by unsterilized milk or meat from infected animals; leishmaniasis, spread by the bite of the sandfly; toxocariasis, caused by the larvae of worms; and the arboviral infections caused by dengue and West Nile virus, which disproportionately affect people who live in severe poverty.