WASHINGTON, DC – May, 1, 2013 – Poverty and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are caught in a vicious cycle.  It is most evident in developing countries where poverty cultivates conditions in which diseases grow that continue to trap their victims in a never ending state of destitution.  This is a problem not just in developing countries but also in the United States where poverty should also be considered a threat to public health, according to a new book from ASM Press. 

Since the publication of the first edition of Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases in 2008, it has become startlingly evident that neglected tropical diseases are rapidly occurring among the poor living in wealthy countries, especially the United States. In this new edition of Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases, author Peter J. Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine explains how NTDs and poverty are inextricably linked—today 20 million Americans who live in extreme poverty, including 1.5 million families in the United States whose members live on less than $2 per day.

“Last year, I committed my life and work to this problem by relocating a group of more than a dozen scientists to Texas in order to establish the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and a new National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.  Through the hard work of our new faculty and scientists, we have uncovered an extraordinary disease burden from NTDs in Texas and adjacent Gulf Coast states,” says Hotez.

CNN’s Soledad O'Brien, who authored the forward to the book, is equally concerned about the link between poverty and NTDs, “Like Dr. Hotez, I have struggled with how to best get the word out about our need to address NTDs and their link to poverty. Now he has provided us all with a remarkable tool, a book for people without an extensive scientific or medical background. Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases is an excellent “one-stop” primer about NTDs,” writes O’Brien.

Hotez is the founding Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine where he is also chief of a new Section of Pediatric Tropical Medicine and the Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics.  He is also President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and the Baker Institute Fellow in Disease and Poverty at Rice University.

He has authored more than 300 original papers, including lead articles in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Science, and Scientific American, and more than three dozen op-ed pieces or editorials, including pieces in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post.  He is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post. He has also authored or edited 10 books, and written more than 60 textbook chapters.

Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases, Second Edition has a list price of $39.95 and can be purchased through ASM Press online at http://estore.asm.org/press.

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ASM Press is the book publishing arm of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the oldest and largest single life science membership organization in the world. The ASM's mission is to promote research in the microbiological sciences and to assist communication between scientists, policy makers, and the public to improve health and foster economic well-being.

For more information contact:
Courtenay S. Brown