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Old 03 May 2016, 01:59 AM
A Turtle Named Mack's Avatar
A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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No How a Worm Gave the South a Bad Name

For more than three centuries, a plague of unshakable lethargy blanketed the American South. It began with “ground itch,” a prickly tingling in the tender webs between the toes, which was soon followed by a dry cough. Weeks later, victims succumbed to an insatiable exhaustion and an impenetrable haziness of the mind that some called stupidity. Adults neglected their fields and children grew pale and listless. Victims developed grossly distended bellies and “angel wings”—emaciated shoulder blades accentuated by hunching. All gazed out dully from sunken sockets with a telltale “fish-eye” stare. The culprit behind “the germ of laziness,” as the South’s affliction was sometimes called, was Necator americanus—the American murderer. Better known today as the hookworm, millions of those bloodsucking parasites lived, fed, multiplied, and died within the guts of up to 40% of populations stretching from southeastern Texas to West Virginia. Hookworms stymied development throughout the region and bred stereotypes about lazy, moronic Southerners.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/na...th-a-bad-name/
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Old 04 May 2016, 01:19 AM
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Beejtronic Beejtronic is offline
 
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The podcast, "Sawbones" also did an episode on Hookworm recently:

http://www.maximumfun.org/sawbones/sawbones-hookworm
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Old 04 May 2016, 01:55 PM
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DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
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Snake

And yet there are some people who deliberately infect themselves--they claim it provides relief from allergies and auto-immune diseases. I think I'll just keep on taking my antihistamines.
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