This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

As Venezuela Implodes, Measles Explodes

The Venezuelan economy has been going through horrible times recently, leading people to escape by migrating to neighboring countries. The Miami Herald reports that some of these migrants are carrying the measles virus with them. Why? Because lack of vaccines in Venezuela has led to an explosion of new cases.
In 2016, after a massive, decades-long vaccination campaign, the World Health Organization declared Latin America free of measles — the highly contagious virus that curses the young and can cause pneumonia, encephalitis and even death.
But less than two years later, a virulent outbreak in Venezuela, combined with a mass exodus from the South American country, is threatening that medical success story.
According to new figures from the Pan American Health Organization, Venezuela has seen 886 cases of measles since June, including 159 cases this year alone.
The second-biggest outbreak in the hemisphere this year is Brazil, with 14 cases, and all of them were imported from neighboring Venezuela. Colombia has also reported three confirmed cases, all from Venezuela.
The health crisis in Venezuela is not new. I talked about the chaos in health care there nearly a year ago. But the situation is clearly getting worse, not better, and there is no obvious end in sight.

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