Confronting Neglected Tropical Diseases

02.03.11 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

There are seventeen so-called Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), such as Chagas disease, dengue fever and leprosy, that are found in some 149 countries, a new report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service explains.

“Estimates indicate that some 2 billion people are at risk of contracting an NTD, of whom more than 1 billion people are afflicted with one or more. Roughly 534,000 people are believed to be killed by an NTD annually. Although these diseases are concentrated among the world’s poor, population shifts and climate change increase the vulnerability of the United States to some of these diseases, particularly Chagas disease and dengue,” the CRS report said.

Efforts to combat the diseases, and the challenges facing those efforts, are described by the CRS in “Neglected Tropical Diseases: Background, Responses, and Issues for Congress,” January 21, 2011.