Infections and infectious diseases in a malnourished population: a long-term prospective field study
Mata Jiménez, Leonardo
Urrutia, Juan José
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The importance of infectious disease and its role in the shaping of the history of mankind has been recognized since Biblical times. Pestilences were recorded in many classical books, while most religions developed concepts and traditions pertaining to the prevention of certain communicable diseases. It is in the last 20 years, however, that the role of malnutrition in determining the behavior of infectious diseases has become fully recognized. The most obvious manifestation of the interaction is the exceedingly high case fatality ratio of many infectious diseases as compared with the behavior of societies living under better conditions (Scrimshaw et al., 1968). Infection in underdeveloped populations is an unavoidable event and hits all individuals regardless of their nutritional status. Therefore, infection is an important" component in the complex causality of malnutrition. The present observations were derived from the files of a long-term prospective study, the "Cauque study", carried out in a typical Mayan Indian village in the Guatemalan highlands
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