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PHS Monday Seminar: Rachael Singer, PhD MSPH: “Characterizing and Addressing Neglected Parasitic Infections in US Communities”
February 14 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are widely considered to be relegated to countries with developing economies. Yet, evidence suggests many of the same infections are prevalent in certain parts and populations of wealthy nations, where they may be referred to as infections of poverty. This talk will recount the historical and current status of parasitic infections of poverty in the United States highlighting our findings of one of the first US community surveillance studies for intestinal parasites in decades and subsequent modeling study to target communities for future studies. Surprisingly, we detected a high prevalence and widespread risk of the most neglected soil-transmitted helminth infection, strongyloidiasis, suggesting a need for critical reforms to US public health surveillance and control policies. We will contextualize these results and their significance for population health equity and racial and environmental justice in the US policy landscape. These findings suggest opportunities for future work and collaborations across population health disciplines including health services research, healthcare-associated infections, health policy, and community-based participatory research.