Having stamped out a number of tropical diseases – including malaria – decades ago, is America today complacent about a rising wave of infectious disease?
One rainy Friday morning in March 2015, Dr Laila Woc-Colburn saw two patients with neurocysticercosis (a parasitic infection of the brain) and one with Chagas disease, which is transmitted by insects nicknamed ‘kissing bugs’. Having attended medical school in her native Guatemala, she was used to treating these kinds of diseases. But she was not in Guatemala any more – this was Houston, Texas.
For half a day each week, one wing of the Smith Clinic’s third floor in Houston is transformed into a tropical medicine clinic, treating all manner of infectious diseases for anyone who walks through the door. Since it opened in 2011, Woc-Colburn and her colleagues have treated everything from dengue and chikungunya to river blindness and cutaneous leishmaniasis.… Read the rest