Sick Migrants – “A Public Emergency Of Hemispheric Concern”

Immigrant parade, New York. Image: Natsirtj, CC BY-SA 3.0

Disease-carrying migrants put US cities at heightened risk, experts confirm |

“[W]ith increasing air travel and human migration … US cities … including Miami, FL and Houston, TX [are] at heightened risk for disease re-emergence.”

– The Lancet, Infectious Diseases, February 21, 2019

Collapse of healthcare system could fuel spread of malaria and other diseases

| The Guardian – Experts have warned of an epidemic of diseases such as malaria and dengue on an unprecedented scale in Latin America following the collapse of the healthcare system in Venezuela.

Continent-wide public health gains of the last 18 years could be undone if Venezuela does not accept help to control the spreading outbreaks of malaria, Zika, dengue and other illnesses that are afflicting its people, experts have warned in a report published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Venezuela was once a regional leader in malaria control, but as healthcare has collapsed there has been a mass departure of trained medics, the report says, creating a public emergency “of hemispheric concern”.

The paper says:

“These diseases have already extended into neighboring Brazil and Colombia, and with increasing air travel and human migration, most of the Latin American and Caribbean region (as well as some US cities hosting the Venezuelan diaspora, including Miami and Houston) is at heightened risk for disease re-emergence.”

The lead author, Dr. Martin Llewellyn, based at the University of Glasgow, has called for global action. “The re-emergence of diseases such as malaria in Venezuela has set in place an epidemic of unprecedented proportions, not only in the country but across the whole region,” he said.

“Based on the data we have collected we would urge national, regional and global authorities to take immediate action to address these worsening epidemics and prevent their expansion beyond Venezuelan borders.”

He said that the figures were probably an underestimate because the Venezuelan government had shut down the institution responsible for collecting data for the World Health Organization. Border Crisis: “This Is About Healthcare”

“Venezuelan clinicians involved in this study have also been threatened with jail, while laboratories have been robbed by militias … ” Read more.