COVID-19 and Ecosyndemic Vulnerability: Implications for El Niño-Sensitive Countries in Latin America
Latin America has emerged as an epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador report some of the highest COVID-19 rates of incidence and deaths in the region. These countries also face synergistic threats from multiple infectious diseases (that is, ecosyndemic) and quasi-periodic El Niño-related hazards every few years. For example, Peru, which is highly sensitive to El Niño, already copes with an ecosyndemic health burden that heightens during and following weather and climate extreme events. Using an ecosyndemic lens, which draws on a multi-disease hazard context of place, this commentary highlights the importance of El Niño as a major factor that not only may aggravate COVID-19 incidence in the future, but also the broader health problem of ecosyndemic vulnerability in Latin America.
Ramírez, Ivan J.; Lee, Jieun
International Journal of Disaster Risk Science
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