If Only Nicholas Kristof Wrote About Swollen Scrotums

In a shrewd bid for that public service Pulitzer, the New York Times has been running a series of articles about five diseases that, while extinct in the developed world, continue to afflict Third World nations. In Sunday's paper, the Times reported on filariasis, a disease of the lymphatic system that causes swelling and fever.

The Timesfolk know how to get their readers to care. They hit them where it hurts, namely, in the balls:

[Ten] times as common [as swollen legs] is the symptom that is almost never spoken of: the engorged scrotums, known as male hydrocele (Greek for water bulge). In cities like Leogane, more than a quarter of the men are tormented by the condition, their scrotum swelling to the size of a softball, or a basketball in severe cases.

OWWW... When this article was mentioned at dinner last night, the men at the table doubled over in vicarious, imagined pain. (Yes, this is what passes for mealtime conversation at Wonkette.)

We predict that donations to charities fighting filariasis will far outstrip those for the four other profiled diaseases. If you'd like to learn how to help, information will eventually be available here. (It appears that the Times hasn't updated its Health page with information about organizations that seek to eradicate filariasis; hopefully they will do so soon.)

Beyond Swollen Limbs, a Disease's Hidden Agony [NYT]


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