Compliant: Racial bias behind health woes in Alabama county

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An environmental justice group claims Alabama health officials are discriminating against residents of a poor, mostly black county by failing to address sanitation problems that led to an outbreak of a parasite most common in underdeveloped countries.

The San Francisco-based nonprofit Earthjustice said Friday it filed a complaint with the federal government on behalf of residents of Lowndes County. The county is one of Alabama’s poorest, yet it’s just a few miles west of the state capital of Montgomery.

The group contends state and county health officials have failed to address sewage conditions that led to a hookworm problem there.

The Alabama Department of Public Health had no immediate comment on the complaint. It previously has denied claims of a hookworm outbreak in the county of roughly 10,000 people.

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