What Are the Problems in Tropical Infections?
Our forefathers had quinine, mercury and tartar emetic ; smallpox and typhoid vaccines and diphtheria antitoxin. The epidemiology of sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, plague and yellow fever was unknown. We have certainly come a long way since then. Vaccine has the upper hand of yellow fever, smallpox, measles. Vector control has gone a long way in some areas to combat malaria and sleeping sickness. Education and sanitation are diminishing the terrors of schistosomiasis, plague, cholera and typhus. Chemotherapy is biting slowly into the mass of leprosy and tuberculosis — and some of the more recent successes attributable to chemotherapy will be presented in the middle section. But one of the scourges has gone and each one still represents either a continuing pool of misery and debility or a threat of another decimating epidemic. We have no cause for complacency.