by Jason Neet
A strange disease in Central America has caused a kidney disease in the farmers. The symptoms of the disease are causing the people to get fevers, headaches, poor appetite, and feelings of faintness. The caused the workers to be unable to work. There have been approximately 20,000 premature deaths over the past twenty years from the disease and appears to be getting worse. Scientists call this disease “Chronic Kidney Disease” with an Unknown source also know as CKDu. With the sugarcane farmers and similar cases with rice farmers this disease has been affecting many farmers and the low income economy of El Salvador and Nicaragua. The CDC has joined in the help and has donated thousands of dollars for research. In El Salvador this disease has become the leading cause of hospital deaths in adult men.
The disease factor has increased greatly by at least 5 times higher over the past 20 years which is not good. Nobody is quite sure exactly where this disease is coming from but it is affecting low income rice and sugarcane farmers. The CDC has said this disease has affected around 20 million US citizens with subtle symptoms and effects coming on within months or even years before the kidney actually fails. In the US this disease is effecting people with diabetes and high blood pressure at around ages of 70 and up while the cases in Central America are younger healthy males. Some people think it is affecting these people due to bad working conditions, dehydration, eating the sugarcane stalks, and a huge factor people believe is taking effects are the agricultural chemicals the farmers use on the crops. Nobody knows for sure what it really is affecting these workers though because they have not found any proof as to what is starting the disease. The workers know what could happen when the start their job but they don’t really have much of an option where they live they are in poverty and need money while this sugarcane farming is one of the only jobs available for them. Researchers do believe that the chemicals cadmium and arsenic which are in fertilizers could be the cause to kidney disease with long term exposure like the workers have through the food most likely. Other researchers believe that in the circumstances of dehydration consuming the sugar from the sugarcanes can damage the kidneys a lot.