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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Venezuelan girl’s death shows up health crisis

nine-year-old Eliannys Vivas started to get a sore throat on a Friday last month in this languid Venezuelan town where papaya trees shade poor cinder-block homes. Five days later Eliannys was dead, likely a victim of diphtheria, a serious bacterial infection that is fatal in 5 to 10 per cent of cases and particularly lethal for children. Her death and a wider Venezuelan outbreak of diphtheria, once a major global cause of child death but increasingly rare due to immunisations, shows how vulnerable the country is to health risks amid a major economic crisis that has sparked shortages of basic medicines and vaccines. More…

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