More on Parasites

Thank you, loyal Goldblog readers, for your sympathy and concern in re: my parasites. It's not really that bad. And there's a bright side to these things (as many of you know, I'm an inveterate optimist) -- the weight-loss benefits of tropical diseases. In the '90s, when I did a lot of work in sub-Saharan Africa, I was infected with malaria twice, and on one occasion I lost 25 pounds. Of course, my kidneys almost stopped functioning and my brain almost exploded, but I did lose 25 pounds, in about five days. Whatever second-string parasite I have right now won't do that sort of job on me, alas. These sorts of diseases are also a useful reminder of what the average African goes through each day. I was just in Liberia, where there are some excellent people trying to put their country back together again, but the challenges are vast, and they start with basic public health issues like clean water. I'm not feeling well enough right now to delve into the issue, which I suppose is the point -- it's hard to do useful things when you're sick all the time, and too many people in these countries are constantly sick from preventable diseases. 

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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