Study to look for signs of hookworm in Alabama’s Black Belt

Nov 25, 2019

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Researchers are once again trying to determine whether Alabama’s Black Belt region has a problem with intestinal parasites called hookworm.

A study led by University of Alabama at Birmingham is recruiting participants for a program that will screen hundreds of children in Wilcox and Perry counties for signs of hookworm.

State health officials took issue with a previous study involving Baylor University that found evidence of hookworm. The parasite was once widespread in the United States and is now a problem mainly in underdeveloped counties.

Health officials say poor waste disposal systems and environmental conditions in rural west Alabama put the area at risk for the problem.

UAB announced the new program in a statement this week. The work is being funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.