Deadly Soil?

This past weekend I was in Virginia with my family saying good bye to my oldest brother because he just got deployed. At dinner before he left, I jokingly asked him to bring me back some Afghani and Iraqi soil. Before he could answer his girlfriend jumped into the conversation and said “No! Don’t! It can kill you!” Naturally, I starred at her until she explained. She’s a nurse at one of the hospitals in California where most soldiers go to when they get back from deployment. Anyway, she continued to tell me that there are alot of men and women coming back with mysterious internal infections that essentially eat away at your tissue then causes massive organ failure. She told me the antibotics we have aren’t doing anything for it and people keep dying from it. She explained that when men & women are shot and laying in ditches (soil) they get this infection. Doctors and nurses are having to very careful because they’re getting it too.

I tried to research this infection but I couldn’t find it. I did however find out the four most common soil infections: roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides), whipworm (Trichuris trichiura), and the anthropophilic hookworms (Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale). The soil-transmitted helminths are a group of parasitic nematode worms causing human infection through contact with parasite eggs or larvae that thrive in the warm and moist soil of the world’s tropical and subtropical countries. Recent estimates suggest that A. lumbricoides infects 1.221 billion people, T. trichiura 795 million, and hookworms 740 million. The Americas, China and East Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa are where most of the breakouts occur. Most people get infected by having dirt under their nails then they put their nails in their mouths. The soldiers are getting in because they’re laying in ditches and they catch it in their wounds. Hopefully doctors will be able to find a cure to help the wounded heal.

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One Response to Deadly Soil?

  1. cdw526 says:

    Wow! This is really interesting, and definitely gives me incentive to stop biting my nails. This is definitely something that medical officials should pay more attention to. And I hope your brother has a safe and successful journey.

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