BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7034.858 (Published 30 March 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:858
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    The protozoal parasite Cryptosporidium parvum may cause life threatening diarrhoea in people whose immune system has been damaged by HIV infection. A study in Nevada has now shown (Annals of Internal Medicine 1996;124:459-68) that the standard methods used in water treatment plants do not remove all the oocysts from tap water and that people who are HIV positive may contract fatal cryptosporidiosis if they drink from the tap. The health authorities in Nevada are recommending that HIV positive people should drink only bottled water.

    One third of the 301 inhabitants of Tristan da Cunha have asthma, and, since the population is highly inbred, research workers are hoping to identify the two genes thought to be responsible for this unusually high incidence of the disease. A review of the work of gene hunters in “Science” (1996;271:1352-4) predicts that the next 18 months is likely to see an explosion of knowledge about the genetic basis of common diseases including not only asthma but also diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and schizophrenia.

    Electronic monitoring of the fetal heart rate must be rated one of the big disappointments of …

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