The Economy’s Helminths
Diseases or parasites that kill their host are not very successful. Parasites need a host, a dead host means no home. Bubonic plague was very successful at killing its victims leaving a much smaller, resistant population and no more bubonic plague. There is a lot of common cold or influenza around, these pathogens get the cells of their host to produce more of them, and then to sneeze and cough so that they can be passed on to new hosts, but are very rarely fatal. A helminth is a small worm that lives in animal’s gut; it uses your gut as a source of food and shelter. You can live with a helminth without really noticing, although helminths can cause you illness as a by-product of their ability to get your body to behave in a way favourable to their own comfort.