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Ebola highlights developing world shares more disease burden

Washington, Oct 17 (IANS) In case of diseases like Ebola, measles, syphilis and many other conditions with skin manifestations, the mortality rates are quite higher in developing countries than they are in developed countries, according to a study.

“Our goal is to provide information about trends and patterns to bring to light what is going on around the world so that funds can be allocated and policy is developed as needed,” said Lindsay Boyers, associate professor of dermatology at University of Colorado School of Medicine.

The team made use of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study for collecting a billion data points describing the distribution of the world’s diseases.

Of the 269 diseases in the GBD database, this study compared rates in developed versus developing countries of Ebola, malignant melanoma, basal and squamous cell carcinoma, decubitus ulcer, bacterial skin diseases, cellulitis, varicella, syphilis, measles and dengue.

In case of Ebola, the study highlights the importance of monitoring disease burden in the developing world even when the burden is low.

Till date, 4,447 people had died of Ebola in developing countries compared with two in developed countries.

In 2010, measles death rate was 197 times greater in developing countries than in developed countries, but this ratio was down from 345-to-1 in 1990, showed the study.

Syphilis death rates were 33 and then 45 times greater in developing countries in the years 1990 and 2010.

Interestingly, dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever had no higher age-adjusted mortality in developing countries than they did in the developed world.

Campaigns to eradicate measles in sub-Saharan Africa are effective but significant work is still to be done, and treatment of syphilis remains a major health challenge in developing countries, suggested the authors.

The study appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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