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Third-World Parasite Plagues the Rural South

January 8, 2018
By: Susan Marie Shuman

Once thought to be eliminated in the 1980s, hookworm has made an alarming comeback in the rural south—particularly in Lowndes County, Alabama, one of the state’s most agriculturally rich but economically challenged areas.

Located near Montgomery, many residents of Lowndes live in abject poverty. With an average income of just $700 a month, most cannot afford septic systems—and live in fear of being evicted. During a house-to-house inspection by parasitologists earlier this year, it was discovered that an alarming number of residents’ make do with straight PVC piping which simply pushes raw sewage into backyards where adults gather and children play. Others who do have septic systems are not much better off. The systems are not conducive to the southern climate and soil type, and too often pump sewage right back into the homes.


Serving the Residents of Kendall County Since 1966
811 W. John Street, Yorkville, IL 60560   •   630-553-9100