The Burden of Soil-transmitted Helminths (STH)
Soil-transmitted helminth infections are acquired through contact with soil contaminated with infected feces. STH infections were once common throughout the world, including the United States, and some cases are still seen in the U.S. each year. With better sanitation, these infections are now common only in poorer countries. More than four billion people are at high risk throughout the world, with over one billion individuals already infected. STH infections can contribute to anemia, vitamin A deficiency, malnutrition and impaired growth, delayed development, and intestinal blockages. Regular treatment twice a year with drugs - albendazole (donated by GlaxoSmithKline) or mebendazole (donated by Johnson & Johnson) – controls the infections and decreases these health risks. In late 2010, GlaxoSmithKline pledged to donate an additional 400 million treatments of albendazole over the next five years to fight STH infections.
The Soil-transmitted helminths (STH) are:
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