|August 16th, 2010|
It seems to me we ought to be able to test this. There are currently charities that focus on deworming people. With a small investment, one ought to be able to track rates of autoimmune disease among villages where you do full deworming compared to villages where you'd changed nothing. 
 This idea is part of a more general hygiene hypothesis which claims that we need some amount of getting sick in order to stay healthy overall. It's used to explain why diseases like asthma, eczema, hay fever, and autism are becoming more common in the developed world.
 This is not to say that I believe money spent on deworming is wasted or even poorly used. Autoimmune diseases are rare even in places where almost no one has parasites. Parasites are probably, on balance, a big negative.
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