Health Concerns of Micronesian Peoples

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Abstract

Several states in the United States have been experiencing an influx of migrants from an area of the world that most people have only heard of when learning about the atomic bomb and World War II. This area is the former U.S. Trust Territory of Pacific Islands now called the Freely Associated States. At the end of World War II, the United States took possession of many of these islands and in 1948, the United States formally took over administration of the Marshalls, the Carolines, Palau, and the Northern Marianas islands. Collectively this area is known as Micronesia. Micronesians come from areas that have high prevalence of several communicable diseases and there is growing concern that Micronesian immigrants may enable the spread of infectious disease to the United States from Asia. Data concerning Hansen's disease and tuberculosis support this claim. According to data from the Hawai'i State Department of Health, a 5-year trend examining new cases of tuberculosis in Hawai'i identified that 65 out of 77 new cases came from the Freely Associated States of Micronesia. Presented is an overview of the health concerns and health status of the people from the Federated States of Micronesia.

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