With Venezuela’s economy in tatters, at least 70,000 people from all walks of life have been streaming into a mining region to hunt for gold in watery pits. It is a perfect breeding ground for the mosquitoes that spread malaria.
Then, with the disease in their blood, the miners return home to cities where there is often no medicine and little fumigation, and they have passed the disease on to tens of thousands more people and left entire towns desperate for help.
Venezuela was the first nation in the world to be certified by the World Health Organization for eradicating malaria in its most populated areas, beating the United States and other developed countries to that milestone in 1961.
|In Ciudad Guayana, hundreds of people, all with symptoms of malaria, overflowed a clinic in May. (via NYT)|