non-SARS related disease post. Paul Orwin (back from blogbattical) posts on epidemiology (permlinks not working, go to “Morbidity and Mortality, and Counting the Dead”) in response to this Yglesias post lambasting some dude I don’t know for arguing for sodomy laws to discourage homosexuality because of the AIDS connection. One thing Orwin asks:
There are a number of infectious diseases, chronic ones especially, which are a major, major problem, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, but also in Southeast Asia, and to a lesser extent, South America (note to self: why not so much South America?).
On the last part-I have two off-the-top-of-the-head thoughts. South America is more advanced and richer than either Africa or Southeast Asia (the latter is debatable). Additionally hominids have a much longer presence in the Old World than in South America so there might be less coevolution between indigenous pathogens and humanity.