Friday, July 08, 2005

Diseases of the RGV

I don't want to scare off anybody thinking about moving to the RGV. Our region is just as healthy as any other. The only difference is that we have some diseases that are not a problem in other parts of the country. Some are communicable, others are not.

Of the non-communicable diseases that are rampant in the RGV, there is diabetes. Many of us here are descended from both European and native people. You'll find many mestizos around. The bodies of native Americans don't handle refined sugars and flours too well and end up getting diabetes. Obesity is pretty common here, and so is diabetes.

The next major disease is tuberculosis. Our schools test children for exposure often to keep the disease in check. In addition, our counties have clinics set up to help control TB. Much of the TB that we get is from people visiting from Mexico and from areas of poverty here on this side. Since treatment is provided free by the county, your chances of contracting the disease are small. Even if you do, it's treatable.

Finally, one disease that we still have, suprisingly, is leprosy. I think it is called Hansen's Disease to give it a nicer sound. Leprosy, I understand, is also treatable. It is rare compared to tuberculosis. Just thought that you should know that it does exist in our area and also gets treated.

Don't let the knowledge that these illnesses exist stop you from coming to the Rio Grande Valley. In most public places, you are safe. The availability of treatment keeps the bad stuff in check. With diabetes, you can prevent it with having a good lifestyle.

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